Article by: Jennifer Cirka
Hello!! I am so excited to be writing for Daria and Boutique Café!! My name is Jennifer Cirka, but many of you may know me as Jaybird Designs. I am a professional crochet designer and independent publisher. My designs have been featured in magazines such as Crochet Today!, Crochet World and Interweave Crochet along with a booklet called “Top-sy Turvy” with Leisure Arts.
Along with all my mompreneur responsibilities I am also a stay at home mom of one, and wife. With this job, like many of you, I am also responsible for the family finances. When I quit working for the USPS six years ago, our family’s income was greatly reduced. I had to learn a lot about being frugal and saving money. I actually started my business to support my yarn and craft habit!
Now, I am in no way an expert on this subject, but through the years I have met many people and found many sites that are! With their help, I am happy to say that not only is my business growing, but my family has been debt free (with the exception of our home) for almost 2 years now! I’d like to share some of my secrets with you!
Every morning, with my cup of coffee, I have a series of websites that I visit. My hands down favorite is One Pretty Thing. She has compiled a list of some of the BEST do-it-yourself projects on the web! From Christmas and Hanukkah décor, easy to make handmade gifts, and even tips for your business, you can find tons of useful and inexpensive ideas on her site. And the best part is that she does the internet searching for you! Not crafty or too busy? I bet you know another mom who is and could use a little extra money this holiday season.
Now, for the savvy shopper in you, I always check out Slick Deals. Every day you can find some great deals on items, especially now for your Christmas shopping!! The other day I scored an awesome deal at Victoria’s Secret, three sweaters and a free scarf for only $31! Guess what will be under my Christmas tree this year? I’m currently on the lookout here for some other great gift ideas!
And if your dream this holiday season is to be debt free, you must check out Dave Ramsey! My family listens to his radio show a lot and we got tons of tips and great ideas that helped us. When refinancing our house this summer, we contacted one of his preferred mortgage providers and they actually told us that the deal we were offered from our current mortgage company was better than anything they could do for us! I was shocked…they were turning down our business! We managed to combine our original 30-year mortgage along with our Home Equity Loan and drop down to a 15 year mortgage. We paid cash for the closing costs and our monthly payments dropped $30!! Our new goal is to have the house paid off before our first grader graduates from High School.
Well, I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek at some of my secrets. I look forward to sharing more with you through Mompreneur Corner.