Football Friday: Tailgating Fun!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Football season is finally here and I could not be more excited! The early morning tailgating, the smell of meat cooking on the grill, thousands of people roaming Melrose Ave and the Iowa Fight song blasting in the background…. it’s all just so perfect. Now there isn’t really a wrong way to tailgate, but with another football season beginning, here’s some advice on getting the most out of your day at the lot. Go Hawkeyes!


1. Ham and Cheese Sliders
I know what you are thinking…ham and cheese sliders…. does that really require a recipe? The answer is YES it does. These have so much flavor and everyone at your tailgate will absolutely love them. If you are interested, click here for the recipe!

Ham and Cheese Sliders - easy and crowd pleasing sandwiches. {The Girl Who Ate Everything}











2. Bacon Wrapped Smokies in Maple Glaze
Of all the tailgating food I have made, this is by far one of my favorites. Warning: They are super addictive! They aren’t necessarily the most healthy food of choice, but they sure are delicious and super easy to make! Plus, who doesn’t love bacon!? For the recipe, click here!

Bacon-Wrapped 'Lil Smokies in a Brown Sugar and Maple Glaze...

3. Skinny Taco Dip
In case you are looking for something a little lighter, check out this skinny taco dip! It’s delicious, popular and it only takes about 5 minutes to make! Just don’t forget the Tostitos! Click here for the recipe!

I make this dip for every party!




Who says games are just for kids? Spice up your tailgate with these fun and popular games that everyone in your group will enjoy!

1. Bags (Cornhole)
The simple “bags” game is a great addition to a tailgating event! Bags sets can get a little pricey though, so why not make it yourself! Decorate it with your favorite college/NFL team colors, add your team logo, and you will be all set for game day!

2. Life Size Jenga
As a kid everyone loved the game Jenga. So why not turn it into a life-size tailgating game? My brother purchased this game online and has taken it to several Iowa football tailgates. It is always such a huge hit that people walking around want to join in!  You can purchase this online or if you are feeling crafty, try making it yourself!

3. Ladder Golf
Another fun game that adults will love is Ladder Golf! Ladder golf is an addictive game that can be inexpensively made using PVC tubing, string, and a few golf balls. It’s fun, easy and it’s a game for all ages!


Do you have any delicious recipes or games that you play while tailgating? If so, please share with us in a comment below! Be safe and Go Hawks!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.

How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

identity-theft3Identity theft is nothing new, and yet millions of people are affected each year. The Federal Trade Commission released a survey showing that 27.3 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the last five years, including 9.9 million people in the last year alone. Thankfully there are many things you can do to avoid identity theft! The bad news is, many of us do little beyond choosing a decent password and what’s even crazier, is that some people don’t even do that! Get smart and protect yourself! Below is a list of easy targets for identity thieves and ways you can prevent it from happening to you!

1. Your Trash Can
Even if you’re really careful about the information you put online, your trash bags and recycling bin can still be an easy target for identity thieves. Dumpster diving may sound ridiculous, but it’s still an easy way for identity thieves to get access to your personal information.

  • Get a shredder and use it! Get into the habit of shredding things like bank statements, expired credit cards, utility bills, cell phone bills, pay stubs, old boarding passes and travel itineraries, ATM receipts and anything with your social security number on it.
  • Don’t forget to check your envelopes! Anything with your name and address on it needs to be shredded, too.

2. Your Phone
Chances are you’re carrying a lot more in your phone than just your contacts. With smartphone theft on the rise, protect yourself:

  • Have a password-protected lock on your home screen. This is a standard feature on all smartphones for a reason, so take advantage of it! Bonus points if your smartphone also has a location tracking (also known as the “find my phone” feature).
  • Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure, so avoid checking your bank accounts or doing your online shopping from the local coffee shop or during your layover at the airport.
  • Do not store sensitive information on your phone–storing passwords or login information in a note taking app is bad news.

3. The Pin Pad
It seems like every few months a new point-of-purchase scheme emerges– skimming devices, keystroke loggers, ATM hacking… the list goes on! Here are some good practices for when you’re out and about:

  • When making a purchase, keep your debit or credit card in sight at all times.
  • Use your hand to block the buttons when entering your pin number, even if there’s no one immediately behind you–a camera can always be watching.
  • Choose a good PIN. Avoid PINs derived from your personal information, like your telephone number, address, or birthday. Avoid easy-to-guess pins, like the dreaded “1234.”
  • Change up your PIN, especially if you use the same combination to unlock your phone as you do for your debit card.

4. Your Mail Box
Like the dumpster-diving approach mentioned above, mail tampering is a low tech but relatively easy way for identity thieves to compromise your personal information. Here’s what you can do:

  • Familiarize yourself with your billing cycles. A late credit card statement or a bill that never shows up could be a sign of mail tampering.
  • Identity thieves will sometimes request a change of address to illegally reroute your mail to a different location. If you suddenly stop receiving mail, check with the post office to make sure this isn’t the case.
  • Use a mailbox with a locking system to avoid thieves.

5. Your Computer
You think this one would be common sense by now, but every so often a virus or scam comes along that trips us up. Stay one step ahead of scammers:

  • Keep your firewall, anti-virus and operating system software up to date. No matter how new and fast your laptop is, it still needs protection.
  • Enable spam filters on your email accounts.
  • Look out for sketchy links and emails. Ignore any suspicious password reset requests, unexpected mail tracking numbers, or anything that asks for your personal information over email.
  • Don’t over share on social media. Do your Facebook friends really need to know your home address, cell phone number or even what year you were born? Can people tell when no one is home based on your social media feed? Keep your accounts private and make sure you’re not accidentally broadcasting sensitive information.


Do you have any identity theft stories to tell or tips to prevent it? If so please share with us in a comment below!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.

Helpful Moving Tips!

Moving from one apartment to another can be stressful and exciting all at the same time. Staying organized, making lists, and planning ahead make the moving process a whole lot easier, but so does having a few handy packing tips and tricks up your sleeve!

I just moved into my new apartment last week so I spent a few weeks prior looking for ways to make my moving process easier. Here are a few things I came up with that saved me time, money and stress!


1. DIY Box Handles:
Moving big and heavy boxes can be difficult, especially when you live on the top floor of your apartment. Make picking up and lifting heavy boxes a little easier by cutting handholds in two sides of the box with a utility knife! Leave the top flaps of your triangular cut-outs attached and simply fold them in.


2. Enlist The Color-Coding System.
Pick a color code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Label the door of each room with the corresponding sticker/tape so that you know where to place the boxes.

3. Take A Picture Of Your Cords
Before you disconnect them to be boxed up, take a quick snapshot of the cords on the back of your television and other electronics so that you can remember where they all go! My boyfriend would probably think this is silly, but apparently I’m cord impaired.

4. Use Rolling Luggage For Heavy Items
If you’ve got them, use your rolling luggage bags for really heavy items like books. Now you can avoid the heavy lifting and simply roll the bags out to your vehicle or moving truck.

5.  Put Hanging Clothes In Garbage Bags
This is by far my favorite moving tip! Moving clothes, especially for girls, can be a pain! Keep them on the hangers while still protected in garbage bags! This saves the hassle of taking them on and off of the hangers. It also keeps your clothes all together in the order you had them hung, less wrinkled, and ready to hang up when you get to your new home. Just put a garbage bag over the top of the hangers and rip a small hole in the garbage bag to allow the top of the hangers to stick through.

6. Use Wine Cases For Your Glassware
Visit your local bar, restaurant, or winery, and you’re bound to come home with several empty wine box cases! The inserts in these boxes are perfect for protecting glass cups, wine glasses, and vases.
33+ Helpful Moving Tips Everyone Should Know ~ Get free wine box cases from your local restaurants and use them to pack glassware!

7. Packing Jewelry
Connect your necklaces through a toilet paper roll to prevent them from knotting. This is great for moving or even just taking a short trip!
33+ Helpful Moving Tips Everyone Should Know ~ Use toilet paper rolls to keep your necklaces from tangling!

8. Change Your Address At Least Two Weeks Prior To Moving
This might seem like a no-brainer for important things like utilities and cable but don’t sweat the small stuff. You may also have things like Amazon, PayPal, credit cards, your financial institution, magazine subscriptions, and your mail to worry about.

9. Pack An Overnight Bag Of Essentials
When preparing for the big move, it’s easy to accidentally pack up things you might later need. To prepare for this, pack a bag of essentials! This might include toiletries, a few outfits, snack foods, and a phone charger. It’s also a great way to transport a laptop, which could run the risk of getting stolen during a move.


What are some of your favorite moving tips that have helped make the whole process easier? Please share with us in a comment below!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.


Money Monday: DIY Beauty Tips and Tricks

On a budget when it comes to beauty? No problem. You can still have glowing skin and silky hair without leaving a dent in your wallet. If you’re looking for simple, fun and affordable ways to pamper yourself this summer, I’ve got you covered with these DIY tips and tricks.

1. Face Mask:
Facial masks, whether applied at a salon or purchased from a beauty supply store, can be pretty expensive. Thankfully, you don’t need to dip into your wallet to treat your skin! Products in your fridge can be a simple and affordable way for your skin to glow. The most common skin care concerns are a complexion that’s too oily or too dry. Check out these two quick and effective fixes that don’t cost anything more than what you spent at the grocery store.

For All Skin Types:

Brighten: Cut a slice of ripe papaya and remove the seeds and pulp. Rub the inside of the papaya peel on your cleansed face, focusing on lines around the mouth and eyes, crow’s feet, thinning temples, neck and hands. Let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. This mask can be done twice a week. The enzymes in papaya exfoliate, repair sun damage, diminish age spots and smooth skin. Your skin will look brighter, with a more polished finish!

Exfoliate: Combine 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp olive oil. Separately, prepare a packet of plain oatmeal, using less water than called for so it forms a thick paste. Next, add the honey and olive oil mixture to the cooked oatmeal. Apply as a scrub, gently rubbing it in small circles over your skin, avoiding the eye area. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. This mask can be done twice weekly. The oatmeal in this scrub exfoliates, while the honey and olive oil moisturize.


Dry Skin:

Soothe: Combine 2 Tbsp honey with 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apply to your clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water followed by a cool rinse. This can be done three times a  week. This mask heals, moisturizes and balances the pH of the skin. Honey helps to heal and moisturize. Apple cider vinegar helps balance the pH of skin and soothes damaged skin.
Moisturize: Combine 1/2 ripe avocado, 1 Tbsp. of honey and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Blend ingredients together or mash in a bowl. Apply t face and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with cool water and a damp cloth.

2. Lip Scrub
Exfoliation can help remove the dry, dead skin covering the soft lips underneath. Regular exfoliation can help dry lips become moist and plump. If you want great lips, then this is the method for you!

  • Mix a little bit of olive oil with some sugar in a small bowl. Experiment with the quantities until the mixture is pasty in consistency. Gently rub the mixture on your lips with a wash cloth, massaging in circular motions. The longer you rub in the mixture, the more intensely you will exfoliate your lips. Rinse the mixture off with warm water. Just remember to rehydrate the sensitive skin you just exposed by putting on your favorite lip balm to finish it off. Your lips should feel soft and silky smooth!


3. Hair Repair


Raw Egg: Raw eggs are amazing for your hair! The yolk, rich in fats and proteins, is naturally moisturizing, while the white, which contains bacteria-eating enzymes, removes unwanted oils.
To Use: For normal hair, use the entire egg to condition hair; use egg whites only to treat oily hair; use egg yolks only to moisturize dry, brittle hair. Use 1/2 cup of whichever egg mixture is appropriate for you and apply to clean, damp hair. If there isn’t enough egg to coat scalp and hair, use more as needed. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water (to prevent egg from “cooking”) and shampoo hair. Whole egg and yolks-only treatments can be applied once a month; whites-only treatment can be applied every two weeks.

Avocado: Combine 1 banana, 1 ripe avocado, and 1 tsp olive oil. Blend all ingredients together and massage into your hair from roots to ends, covering thoroughly. Let sit for 30 minutes. Shampoo well, then rinse with apple cider vinegar.


Dry Hair:

Honey: If you have dry, sun or heat damaged hair—nature’s sweetener can help. Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and locks in moisture.
To Use: Massage approximately 1/2 cup honey into clean, damp hair, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. You can also add 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil to loosen the honey for easier application. For extremely sun-damaged hair, trying mixing honey with 1 to 2 Tbsp of a protein-rich ingredient, like avocado or egg yolk, which will help replenish the keratin protein bonds that UV rays attack. Treatment can be applied once a month.



What DIY/budget friendly products do you use to help keep your skin and hair looking fresh and healthy? Share with us in a comment below!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.

Money Saving Tips for College Students


There are many things that make college some of the best years of your life. Financial freedom is not one of them. Instead of sacrificing all of those fun nights out with your friends, learn to save and spend your money wisely! Check out this article I found on NerdWallet that gives tips and tricks to students looking to live up their college years without racking up the debt.

Need Extra Cash?

1. Fill out online scholarships
Take advantage of scholarships offered online through websites like and With a wide range of topics and categories, it’s likely you’ll find a couple that intrigue you.

2. Look into becoming an RA
Most college dorms offer RA programs that let you subsidize your housing cost, make some extra cash, or both.

3. On-campus jobs
On-campus jobs might include working the front desk at your campus gym or working in the cafeteria. The commitment is usually lower than off-campus jobs and as far as convenience goes, you can’t beat that location!

5. Nanny
If you don’t know any families nearby, you can find open positions through a website like

6. Tutor
If babysitting isn’t your forte, you can check out Craigslist or other websites to find families eager for a college student to tutor their budding prodigy.

7. Sell your stuff
If you’ve got things to buy, then you probably have things to sell. Make some extra cash by selling your old items on eBay and Craigslist. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!


Take Advantage of Being a Student

1. Use your student ID
Many retailers, movie theaters, and other everyday destinations offer student discounts when a valid student ID is presented.

2. Take advantage of other student discounts
There are easy-to-access student discounts for items that are not so daily as well. Apple, HP, and Dell are just some of the technology companies that offer student discounts on laptops, etc. Many airline companies also offer student rates on plane tickets and travel packages.

3. Free campus entertainment
Check out what kind of free events your campus offers to students. A lot of schools organize karaoke nights, movie nights, free concerts and other events free-of-charge for students looking to stay busy on the weekends. As an added bonus, this is a great way to expand your social circle and meet some people you might not otherwise come across.

4. Get involved
Look out for cultural events or special lectures around campus that include lunch or dinner. Save $10 and learn something new. It’s a win-win.

Get organized

1. Make lists
Bring lists with you whenever you go shopping and stick to them! That way, you don’t overspend on groceries or clothing.

2. Develop a weekly routine
Get a routine going to make you more efficient. This will cut down on how many loads of laundry you end up doing, along with other frequent tasks that cost you money.

3. Save those coupons!
Collecting coupons and frequent visitor punch cards is only helpful if you actually use them. Keep these things in sight so that you remember.

Get Money Smart!

1. Cut out bad habits
Get rid of bad habits that eat at your wallet like smoking and drinking. And get the added bonus of better health!

2. Evaluate your everyday expenses
Review the things you buy everyday like your morning coffee. Things that cost just $1 a day can add up over time. Look into cheaper options.

3. Make a budget for yourself
Keep track of your monthly expenses and income to stay within your limits. This will show you were those spending leaks are happening. and other services are great expense trackers.

4. Re-evaluate your meal plan
If your campus uses a fixed-meal plan and you don’t eat much, then it’s probably not the best way to go. You can also try cooking on your own, as this is usually cheaper than the campus meal plan.

5. Get a bike
Instead of spending money on gas, car insurance and maintenance, invest $300 in a good bike. You’ll save money and get some exercise as well. And speaking of…

6. Lose the car
If it’s an option, leave your car behind completely to eliminate parking tickets and cut out auto expenses.

7. Stay alert
Saving money means protecting it too. Watch out for traps designed for naïve students like store credit cards. Tricky terms and conditions and complex interest rates can sneak up on you when you least expect it

Want More Ideas?

1. Expand your horizons
Check local listings for free festivals, museums, and art galleries nearby. During the summer, keep an eye out for outdoor concerts and farmers markets as well. Websites like list low-cost events in your area.

2. Groupon
Never underestimate group buying power! Groupon is a great way to snag discounts and find new, exciting events in your area. Try using Groupon Now (its mobile app) to avoid buying coupons you never use.

3. Share clothes with roommates
Save money by sharing clothes and/or trading with friends. Try organizing a clothing swap every quarter or semester.

4. Carpool
Take advantage of your close quarters and coordinate rides with friends.

5. Learn to love DIY projects
Pinterest and YouTube offer tons of tutorials and guides that help you learn how to make and do things yourself instead of spending money on them.


6. Be confident and be yourself!
Don’t worry about “keeping up” if all your friends are getting money from their parents and you’re not. Don’t worry about the latest fashions if you can’t afford it. Remember – you’re only a college student once and making memories is priceless.


For the full article….click here!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.

Why YOU Should Be Using Online BillPayer


Being an adult is tough. More responsibility, more things to pay for. It just comes with getting older. Thankfully, there are many tools and resources to help cut us adults some slack. One of those is BillPayer. Now, have you ever been too busy that you almost forgot to pay a bill or you were late on getting your mail and had to make a late payment? If that’s the case, then you should be utilizing this free service brought to you by your credit union.

So, What is Online BillPayer?
Online BillPayer is a service that allows you to pay virtually anyone or any company through your online banking account. You determine who you want to pay, when you want to make the payment, and which account you want the payment to come from. It’s safe, secure and easy to use.

With this free service you can:

  • Pay bills online with instant access anytime, anywhere without the expense of stamps.
  • Schedule one time or recurring payments and never worry about missing a bill
  • Protect against check fraud making electronic payments and avoiding unsecured mail

What are the primary benefits of online BillPayer?
 Here’s a quick list of the many ways you can benefit from using online BillPayer:

  1. Save time. It takes only minutes to pay your bills each month. You save time on trips to the post office and filing away paper receipts. In addition, smart features such as recurring payments allow you to set up a schedule to pay your bills automatically.
  2. Save money. Online BillPayer saves on postage, envelopes, late fees, and checks. If you pay just 10 bills per month, you can easily save a good chunk of change per year.
  3. Stay organized. Your payment history is stored online so you won’t have to file and sort through paper receipts.
  4. Gain peace of mind. You can schedule payments in advance so you won’t have to worry about paying bills when you travel. BillPayer reminders are also available to notify you it’s time to pay your bill.
  5. Help the environment by saving paper. With online BillPayer, there are no checks to write or envelopes to mail. That’s good news for you and the environment.


Interested in signing up for BillPayer at Community 1st Credit Union? Click here for a quick demo! You won’t regret it, I promise!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.

Fitness Friday: Gym Free Fitness


If you are tight on cash this summer but are looking to get your body in excellent shape, you have come to the right place!

Now, I’m not a nutritionist or a certified personal trainer, and I’m certainly not a doctor, but I know that when Summer rolls around, I like to do some extra exercises to get my body toned. Even though being on the road constantly keeps me busy and away from the gym, I can still get a good workout at home.

These are some of my favorite resources for picking up fitness routines and health tips. Check them out and see what works for you.

1. Nike Training Club App for iPhone
Nike Training Club is by far my favorite fitness app right now. This app allows you to pick a workout specifically tailored to your fitness goals. Choose one that works for you then follow along with the video. The app times your workout and you can set it to play with the music you have loaded on your device. The best part is that all workouts can be done at home with only minimal equipment required.

New features:
•Full-body 15, 30 and 45-minutes workouts you can do anywhere, anytime
•Free workouts from some of the world’s most inspirational female athletes, trainers and celebrities.
•Step-by-step visual and video demos to help you perfect every drill
•Audio guidance to keep you on track and motivated while working out
•Your favorite workouts, training history and progress, instantly accessible
•New and improved Facebook and Twitter sharing to give your progress a boost
•Workout music streamed from your music library

2. Men’s Fitness is a great resource for picking up new ideas to build muscle and improve endurance. No time to get to the gym? No problem. You can use your own weight to build muscle. Here are 5 Body Weight exercises that can be done at home in no time so you can get out the door and on with your daily routine.

3. DailyBurn: Fitness

DailyBurn: Fitness is a place to never get bored with your workout routine or eating habits. Whether you want to run your way to fit or dance your assets off, DailyBurn’s entries promote a healthier, active lifestyle. Check out inspiring interviews with sports figures or even tips on places to stay active on vacation. The DailyBurn team comes from a wide variety of backgrounds, and everyone works together to help create a site that can make your goals easier to reach.

4. Fitness
Check out Fitness for the delicious healthy foods, including healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and even snacks. They have you covered with  healthy and low-calorie foods that taste great so you can reach your better-body goals and still satisfy your taste buds.

5. Fit Sugar
FitSugar and the entire Sugar series of sites provides a plethora of information and knowledge. I love FitSugar because of the many fitness routines and healthy eating tips at my finger tips. This video series on FitSugar showcases eight popular fitness classes in 10 minute videos that you can try at home before investing in a class. Little to no equipment is needed to get a good sweat session in.

6. My Fitness Pal
We live in a world of temptation, cheap pleasures, stress, and convenience—all of which can affect our diet and health. MyFitnessPal is a free mobile app and website that gives you a wealth of tools for tracking what and how much you eat, and how many calories you burn through activity. Of all the calorie counters I’ve used, MyFitnessPal is by far the easiest one to manage, and it comes with the largest database of foods and drinks. With the MyFitnessPal app you can carefully watch what you eat 24/7, no matter where you are.


Do you have a favorite fitness blog, app or recipes that you use? Share with us in a comment below!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.

Hosting a Bachelor Party on a Budget


Don’t worry guys, I didn’t leave you out. Just as the bachelorette party is important for the bride-to-be to have one last fling with her girls, the soon to be groom needs the same with his guys….The Bachelor Party. Just remember — being in our 20’s, it is likely the groomsmen aren’t rolling in money. So what? It is still possible to throw a killer bachelor party. All you really need is a group of guys and a good, cheap game plan. Read on for 6 bachelor party ideas that won’t require you to max out your gold card.

1.Baseball Diamond
Looking for something virtually free to do while spending some time in the sun? Why not head to your local park for a ball game? Bring a cooler and any gear you own. After you’re finished playing, head to your local pub or back to the best man’s pad to hang out and reminisce about old times.

2. Sports Night
This one’s pretty simple. Arrange to have the bachelor party on the night of a big game: basketball, baseball, football, or whatever’s on. Take over a corner of your local sports bar and settle back to enjoy the game, ordering beverages and wings by the dozen.

3. Golf
The summer is a perfect time to get the guys together to hit the links. Golfing with a group can take up the majority of your day so pack a cooler ( if the golf course allows it) and get ready for some competition. Although golf isn’t the cheapest sport, it will be a lot cheaper than heading to a casino or paying for a hotel and airfare.

4. Pitch a tent
Bachelor parties aren’t all about hopping a plane to Vegas anymore. Today’s grooms love to celebrate “guyness” in more rustic ways. Reserve a spot on your local campground or even in your own backyard. Grab some tents, food, a cooler and spend the night around the campfire enjoying fine drinks and fun stories.

5. Poker Night
If the groom and groomsmen can’t swing the trip to Vegas, bring Sin City to them: Host a poker night! Stock the bar, order gourmet pizza, play some music and game on! Just try not to let the groom lose too bad!

6. Karaoke
Nothing rivals the humiliation factor of a karaoke performance. Have a fun time by taking the groom out to a nearby karaoke establishment at the end of the night. Tell him he sounds great singing his own extended version of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. For extra points, get the performance on video.


Most importantly, make sure the groom is having fun! This day is all about him after all, just don’t make him pay for anything! Plan things that the groom would enjoy, not just yourself. If you are unsure of where to begin, check out this website on How to plan a bachelor party.

Have you hosted a bachelor party before? Share some of your budget friendly ideas with us in a comment below!



Jessica M.

How-to-Tuesday: Throwing a Bachelorette Party on a Budget


Summer is here, meaning wedding season is in full effect. But before the bride ties the knot on her special day, she must first celebrate her final fling before the ring….The Bachelorette Party! Whether it’s your sister or best friend, planning a bachelorette party can be stressful—especially when trying to consider the bride’s wishes and everyone’s wallet. Ultimately, money plays an important role in where, when and who celebrates. With a touch of savvy planning, you can cut costs while creating a memorable last night out for the bride-to-be. Here are 7 budget friendly ideas for hosting a bachelorette party that are for sure to be a hit:


1. Avoid a Destination Party
Hosting a bachelorette party in Vegas sounds like the ultimate girls’ getaway, but it’s best to save a trip like this for your own vacation. A destination party is expensive and the further the flight, the more it will cost. This request could become a burden for those on a tight budget and some bridesmaids may skip the celebration altogether. Instead, choose somewhere local to reduce travel costs. Otherwise, compare flights and hotel prices on sites like and pick the destination offering the best rates.

2. Skip the Paper Invites
We  live in a digital age of liking, tweeting, and keeping up with the latest social trends. So, why not go paperless? Save some cash and still have a great time while being environmentally friendly. My friends and I love using Paperless Post for all of our invitations. Just pick an electronic invite and customize it to your liking. It’s easy and super cheap!


3. Dress for Less
Instead of printing “Mrs. Miller’s Bridesmaid” tank tops, color code your party instead.  Printed tee’s are cute, but can be costly! Plus the chances of your party wearing them again aren’t very high. This is the perfect time for the guests to get dolled up and  whip out the little black dress! Have the soon-to-be bride dress up in her favorite color or even just a classic white dress!

4. DIY
If you have read my blog before, you know that I am a big believer in DIY (Do It Yourself). Check out Pinterest for fun recipes, decorations, games for the bride and more! There are so many fun things out there you can use or make yourself at a low-cost, or better yet, for free! So take a weekend off before the big day and get to work! This is the perfect time to channel your creative side.

5. Take a Class
With a large enough group, learning something new doesn’t have to be too pricey. Try out the new painting class trend. Attend a class, paint a portrait and enjoy some wine! You could even try a trapeze class or a belly dancing class to spice things up a bit. The sky’s the limit.

6. Ditch the Limo 
Since most limos require a four-hour minimum and tipping, the bill could easily exceed $500. No one will want to spend the entire evening crammed inside a vehicle, plus the pricey fare for a short trip isn’t worth the cost. Instead, catch a cab or look at party bus rentals when dealing with large groups. Then you can use the money saved on more important matters!

7. Get Organized
Planning a bachelorette party takes lots of planning and can be overwhelming! If you are unsure where to begin, check out this info graphic for tips on how to plan a bachelorette party!



Do you have any creative and budget friendly ideas or suggestions for hosting a fun and memorable bachelorette party for the bride-to-be? Please share your thoughts in a comment below!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.


Money Monday: What is a Credit Union, Anyway?

No, really. What’s a credit union?

They’re kind of like banks, only better. They offer many of the same products and services as banks – checking accounts, debit cards, CDs, car loans – only their not for-profit status allows them to focus on what’s really important: helping you get great interest rates on savings accounts and loans. What’s more, credit unions are community-oriented. They probably even know you by your first name.

It may seem that credit unions and banks offer the same products and services upon first glance, but they are actually quite different. Click here to visit our website to learn about the major differences between the two financial institutions and see how a credit union can benefit you!


So, here is the challenge. Are you already a credit union member? If so, tell your coworkers, family and friends about your credit union, so they can enjoy the benefits of membership, too! If you are not a member, become one today and start to enjoy the credit union difference…a valuable alternative to those “BIG” banks and unnecessary fees! You won’t regret it.


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 836 other followers