Browsing Tag



The Concept of Value Added

If you have known me for an extended period of time, and especially if you have ever helped me move, you know that I have long struggled with having a lot of stuff. I owned a condo and lived there for years before I married H, which meant that I had a whole life already set up. I had all the pots, dishes, towels, furniture, etc. When he moved in (along with all of our beautiful wedding gifts) my cute, spacious place became our crowded little place very quickly. Add that to the fact that I have never been a very organized person outside of my work, and I’m sure you can see how this quickly became an issue.

In the 4 years we have been married, we have moved 6 times. Each time I let go of so many things, and feel like I am making real progress- but it is never enough. Every time the next move comes around I discover the same problem. We have too much stuff- and I have had to recognize that aside from the things we had received as wedding gifts, most of it has been brought in by me.

We recently moved into a much smaller apartment, which is forcing me to be more aggressive about elimination. I have been toying with the KonMari Method (will be fully committing to that when I return from this long month of traveling) but I have been adding my own twist. With each thing that I examine, before I decide to keep it or release it, I ask myself, “Does this add value to my life? Does it fulfill a truly necessary function in my daily existence?”

This approach has been working wonderfully for me so far, and I am expanding it to examine my life outside of my material possessions. When I consider how to spend my time, in whom to invest my energy, and what I consume for entertainment/knowledge, I consider these questions.

I have added a page to the top of this site called Favorites, where I will be listing the things that I find truly add value to my life. Feel free to scope it out if you are curious about incorporating this practice into your own life! I would also love to hear about the things that add value to your life! Share in the comments below!

Seeking Value,


Apps That Add Value

In this incredible age of technology it seems that there is a new app coming out every day promising to save you money. Like everything else in my life, I like to evaluate each app on my phone and ask myself, is this truly adding value to my life? Over time I have found just a few that I consider truly worth the effort and space. I’m excited to share them with you and hope that you find value in them as well!

Paribus This is my favorite app because it requires absolutely no effort on my part, yet has resulted in significant savings for me. Paribus scans your email receipts and tracks the prices of items you have purchased. If the price of a purchase drops within the retailer’s price protection window, Paribus applies for a refund on your behalf. They keep 25% of any refunds as a “success fee”, but I consider that to be completely fair considering that I probably would have never received a refund at all without using the app. I don’t make a lot of purchases, but Paribus has already secured 2 big refunds for me from REI for a FitBit and a pair of boots, as well as a few from Amazon (where prices are constantly fluctuating, so there’s a big chance your purchases will result in a refund). Click the link above from your smart phone or use my referral code MPcJN0 to get 5% taken off your success fee rate!

Acorns This is a great app for those people who, like me, are curious about dipping their toes in the world of investment but don’t have a huge chunk of change to shell out to a financial advisor. Acorns gives you the option to set up “round ups”, where any purchase made with the debit card attached to your Acorns account are rounded up to the next dollar and the change is automatically invested in your account. They also ask questions about your investment goals to help personalize a portfolio just for you! It’s easy to use and I never miss the extra change. Acorns also has an awesome feature called Found Money which includes partner brands who are committed to investing a certain percentage of your purchase with them back into your Acorns account! They also have a section on the app called Grow, which includes informative articles and investment advice. Click the link above from your smart phone to get $5!

Ibotta This is my favorite app for groceries and everyday purchases. It’s basically a market research app that gives you savings in exchange for learning more about the brands and items being purchased by different people in different areas. I love it because it gives me money back for things I already buy, like eggs and toilet paper. I just look at the available deals on the app, scan the barcodes of the things I bought and take a picture of my receipt. When I reach $20 in savings I get a deposit into my PayPal or Venmo account. Some of the deals are brand specific, but there are also quite a few “any brand” deals, usually for things like eggs, milk, bread, and tons of different kinds of produce. They also have deals for clothing, alcohol, beauty products, restaurants, household products, etc. Right now there’s even 2% cash back for Ebay purchases! Click the link above from your smart phone or use my referral code ejlnaad to get $10 to start!

Honey This isn’t actually a phone app, but you can get Honey as an extension for your Chrome or Safari web browser. Honey is a coupon app that automatically searches for codes across the web, then tries them out for you when you are checking out online. It only takes a few seconds of your time to let Honey try the codes, and it doesn’t always work, but I end up getting a discount about half the time! Not bad!

Enjoy, and share your favorite apps in the comments!

*Photo courtesy of Unsplash