Sometimes it can be difficult and expensive to find work appropriate clothing that makes you feel professional while still being yourself. Some of the best stores are also the most available places to explore for office fashion without compromising on style, budget, or comfort. With these in mind you can get yourself a professional wardrobe that you can customize with pieces already in your closet.
Nordstrom + Nordstrom Rack
Nordstrom offers high end brands that will add great professional pieces to your wardrobe. Nordstrom Rack is where designer meets bargain. Much more affordable than Nordstrom itself, the Rack offers a wide array of clothing options all at dramatically lower prices. Whether you're looking for a high quality suit or you're searching for fill in items there will be plenty of choices. It can be a bit more of a treasure hunt to find the perfect piece but the discount will be well worth it.
J.Crew + J.Crew Factory
J.Crew is the place to pick up the long lasting staples that can create a professional backbone to your wardrobe. With the more expensive price tag J.Crew can offer high quality long lasting pieces. Most styles can come in a variety of colors to show off your personal flare. The cheat to avoid the high prices is to head to J.Crew Factory and it's large collection of professional dresses, pants, suits, and blazers. With dramatic discounts you can get a great deal on that expensive item you love and save the extra money to fill in the gaps with more affordable pieces.
Anne Taylor and Anne Taylor Loft
Anne Taylor has sleek looks that add maturity to a professional wardrobe. Anne Taylor's sister store frequently known as The Loft features professional attire geared more towards a younger demographic. Offering clothes with fun unexpected colors and patterns The Loft is a great place to get everything from a statement piece to a fun filler item.
The Gap and Gap Factory
If you're looking for basics then the Gap is your best friend. Featuring a lot of neutral tones and clean cut lines the Gap will give you a surprisingly comfortable professional wardrobe. With a few gap pieces it is easy to have a professional base to build off of. If you're looking for a discount then head to Gap Factory. The Factory store sells all of the Gap's signature looks with a lower price tag.
Uniqlo is a great place to pick up all the filler items you need for your wardrobe. With a lot of basic low cost items you can load up on all those shirts to go underneath your sweaters and blazers. Uniqlo specializes in comfort and their shirts are affordable, convenient, and work appropriate. That doesn't mean they don't feature more professional items because Uniqlo has the whole package.
Lord and Taylor
If you need to suit up then Lord and Taylor is the place for you. When you need to buy a classic basic suit or you want to buy a ready made outfit and skip having to match up tops and bottoms then Lord and Taylor will have plenty of options. The price tags here can be high and if you are shopping on a budget then keep your eye on the sales. Great pieces can come down drastically in price if you are up for some sales rack hunting.
Target not only features some great work attire on its own but also frequently does designer collaborations. The fashion here can be more on trend and outside of the box. If you want to keep adding new and exciting pieces to your wardrobe, or you just want to stand out in the office then Target will have more options than department stores who thrive on neutral colored classics. This is a great home base for building up a work wardrobe with both professional staples, cheap fill in items, and interesting accessories.
Banana Republic and Banana Republic Factory
While Banana Republic is not cheap it does have some of the most flattering staple pieces available that are a great option for your first investment piece. Banana Republic always has classic styles and they frequently refresh their stores with interesting and on trend seasonal additions. If you need a powerful interview outfit or an ensemble for an important work event and you are interested in investing some money into it then this is a great place to look. Their factory store offers their looks at a discounted rate if you want to save a few dollars while you build up a solid wardrobe.
Go forth and get Shopping!
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As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.