Target Redcard

I’m not a big proponent of store credit cards. In fact, until last year I only had two in my lifetime, and both were obtained when I was younger and have since been closed. That being said, I think signing up for a Target REDcard is a great idea IF 1) you shop there often and 2) you can trust yourself not to go over your budgeted amount and 3) you pay off the card in full every month. If #1 applies but #2 and #3 do not, you can also consider getting the debit version of the card. In either case you get 5% off every purchase every day, 30 extra days for returns, and free shipping if you order from

Considering the fact that our local Super Target is where we purchase a good 80% of our groceries, not to mention all sorts of other stuff, it was a no-brainer to sign up. In fact the only thing I regret is not doing it sooner. Last year we saved nearly $200 using the card and shopping like we normally would. The only difference now is that if I’m comparing prices between stores I have to remember to factor in the 5% discount.

As an added bonus, once you’re signed up you can log into your account online and choose a school to which Target will donate 1% of all your purchases. If you’re interested in learning more, visit Target’s REDcard rewards and benefits page.

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Target other than the fact that I love shopping there.


Keeping your computer’s desktop clutter free can be a challenge, so here’s some tips for keeping it organized whether at home, at work, or both.

Note: these instructions are for a PC running Windows 7 so your mileage may vary if your operating system differs.

1) Put all the files and/or shortcuts you like to keep on your desktop in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. By doing this, anything new you save to your desktop will be easily identifiable because it will appear in the far left-hand corner, like so:

Desktop Organization

2) Add the quick launch toolbar to your taskbar to reduce the number of shortcuts you keep on your desktop altogether. For step-by-step directions on how to do this, visit Microsoft’s quick tutorial. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Ok, now that you’re back, your quick launch toolbar, after adding programs or links, may look something like this:

Quick Launch Toolbar
3) Bonus tip: If you want to quickly view your desktop you don’t need to do anything other than click this little area in the far right corner of your taskbar. Ta-da!

Show Desktop

If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. Happy decluttering!


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You might not be a total geek like me and just love love love visiting the library. Perhaps you don’t like to read. I highly recommend you try it, but to each their own. However, all is not lost, dear non-reader. If you’re looking to shave some money off the entertainment budget the library can help you out with that because the majority of them now allow you to check out CDs, DVDs (even new releases and movies on Bluray), and video games for free. Sure, Redbox is only $1, but the library has a larger selection! In addition, you can keep most of the materials for a week or more (except for new releases which tend to have a 24-hour loan period). Thinking of buying a video game but want to try it out first? Go to the library! Same goes for sampling new music. Why buy a CD, or even download MP3s, before you even know whether you’ll ever listen to the album again? Save yourself some money and try before you buy.

In addition, if you’re ever without a computer or internet access head to your local library and check out their computer lab. Whether you’re looking to work on report in Excel, type up documents in Word, play World of Warcraft, or just connect on Facebook, the library has you covered.

Your local library also has magazines, information to help you find a job, tax forms, and even coupons. It’s not just dusty old “boring” books anymore.



Growing up my parents didn’t have a lot of money. However, every summer without fail, we’d go to the zoo, the aquarium, and the museum. My dad would take two weeks off from work and my parents would schedule our trips around the free days each location was offering.

Luckily, the free day tradition lives on so my husband and I can still take advantage of all the great things Chicago has to offer without breaking the bank.

Below is a list of the up-coming free days for our often-visited locations. Feel free to visit this site for a complete list of all museums and their corresponding free days for 2013. In addition, check out Bank of America’s Museums of Us program which offers BOA cardholders free admission to select museums on the 1st weekend of every month.

John G. Shedd Aquarium
September-December — Free on Mondays

Museum of Science and Industry
September 2013 — 9th-13th; 16th-20th; 23rd-27th, 30th
October 2013 — 1st-2nd
November 2013 — 4th
December 2013 — 9th


Welcome to our site!

We’re Joe and Nicole, a married couple living in the Chicago suburbs. We decided to start our own blog because we get a kick out of helping others and thought what better way to do that than through a blog?

We’ll be the first to say we’re not experts in regards to anything you may read here, nor do we claim to be. However, we will be using this blog as a way to share experiences, opinions, thoughts, and suggestions which may be useful to others.

We’ll be primarily writing about finances, frugality, saving time & money, product reviews, marriage, and life lessons.  We encourage you to share your opinions in the comments or by submitting a question you’d like to see answered.

Enjoy your stay and please like us on Facebook so you know when there’s a new post on the site.