Dirt Cheap Shopping

This is one of those secret places that you're so proud to have found and you, selfishly, don't want to share with anyone because it's so awesome that you want to keep to yourself! Well, I'm opening pandora's box here and letting you in on a BIG secret of mine - Dirt Cheap. 

Dirt Cheap stores purchase overstock, returns, out of season and salvaged items from some of your favorite places to shop (ie: Target) and sells them to you at the absolutely lowest prices you'll ever see. Sometimes the packaging on the products is a little dinged up (or maybe it's missing), but it's what's on the inside the counts, right? These discounts are worth looking beyond a not-so-perfect package! 

CLOTHING

In the aisles and aisles of clothing goodness, you'll see that each piece has a price tag with a large letter printed beside the QR code. Look to the skies and find the giant yellow clothing price chart hanging from the ceiling. It's your BFF when you're looking through the clothes! The tag letter coordinates to an additional percentage off the item.

In the example below, the shirt was marked $7 and labeled with an "E." Therefore, the shirt was an additional 60% off that day and would have only cost $2.80. Yep! That's it. The letters change categories daily. One day it could be an additional 80% off and the next it could be priced as marked. Choose your letters wisely! 

HOME PRODUCTS

The rest of the space in Dirt Cheap is dedicated to home products and decor items. Usually each aisle has signs designating any price specifications for those items. For instance, books are all priced the exact same $1.99, while across the aisle items may each have a tag of their own with a specific price. 

So there's no confusion before you make your way to check out, they have an app your can use to scan and price every item in the store. You can download it on the iTunes app store or Google Play. Sometimes items are even more discounted than you first thought! 

So, what kind of products do they have? I think "all kinds" would be a correct answer, but I frequently see Claire's jewelry, Kohl's, David's Bridal and all Target brands (even Cat & Jack and Victoria Beckham).

One of the crazier trips I had recently, I found a Threshold outdoor rug (in perfect condition) and it just so happened to be the same one I had sitting in my Target.com shopping cart. You really never know what you'll see.

If you're a little weary about purchasing a product, especially when it's packaging may be a bit beat up, there's a testing table near the back to plug in electronics and make sure they're good to go before buying. Just unbox and test for yourself. 

No matter what I have luck finding on any given day, rest assured that Dirt Cheap's toy aisles are going to be full of toys! It always feels like I'm in Toy Land when I pass them by. For you parents that are constantly buying gifts for birthday parties or awaiting Christmas holidays, it's so worth looking around and stocking up. 

Here's a video of a recent trip to Dirt Cheap with my mom and sister, if you're interested in what it looks like inside:

Find a location near you and go check it out one day soon. If you're a deal hunter like myself, you will absolutely LOVE the thrill of the chase. 

Delayed Name Change

I recently sat in the lobby of the bank with a friendly personal banker ready to help me with a few questions I had. "Congratulations on your wedding," he said as he prepped some documents to make my last name change on my bank account. I then had to mention to him that I'm not a newlywed, just a completely irresponsible adult.

Y'all. I've almost been married five years and haven't changed any of my bank information to my new name. #LazyMillennial 

I did change my legal name and social, so it's not like I completely missed the boat. I legally have the same last name as Coach, I just never got around to changing my financial stuff. 

It's never really been a problem because the debit card still worked the same and no one really ever asked to verify my identification. I guess that's both good and bad? Coach and I use our two accounts "jointly," but never actually joined our accounts either. 

Well, it finally mattered now that we have a mortgage on our house! During the house-buying process, the bank had created a separate account to my "new" name and it didn't attach to my current bank account because it was still under my "old" name. Very confusing and ridiculous and totally avoidable. 

So, because I sat in that bank lobby, mildly embarrassed and giving all the twenty-somethings a bad name (and I don't want you to do the same), here's the name change list that you need to remember when you say "I do" ( or "we do"):

change-last-name-wedding-married

1. Social Security*
Once you get that marriage certificate back in the mail, it's time to hit the ground running on getting the name change started. The first move is with the federal government. You'll need to visit a social security office, in person, and bring proof of citizenship (like a birth certificate). Read more on the Social Security Website

2. Drivers License*
Now, wait on that new social security to show up in the mail. Then, proceed with patience to the DMV. Bring that new social security, your current DL and your marriage certificate. That's all the Texas DPS office requires of us Texans. 

3. Bank Account/Checks
For my bank, I brought in my current debit card, drivers license and marriage certificate. Worth double-checking your bank's website before going in. It was such an easy process and took only a couple minutes to complete. I actually cannot believe I waited 4.5 years to get done!

4. Credit Cards/Memberships
I've been able to change most card through the phone, without having to use any proof of marriage. This may depend on how strict your card/membership policies may be. 

5. Work/HR
If you have these at your job, you'll need a new ID badge. You'll also need to change your name on file so that when it comes time for taxes, they have your correct W2 and, most importantly, you can cash your paychecks!

6. Car Title/Insurance
Make sure you get any car titles and insurance pages changed as soon as you can. That way, there's no question that you indeed own your car or do have it insured (wouldn't want a fender bender with confusing paperwork!) You should be able to take care of this at the Texas DPS office and call your insurer on the phone to get it changed. 

7. Medical
Start calling any of your physicians (dentist, OBGYN, general care, etc.) and let them know you have a name change. Most will probably just make you fill out another round of patient forms when you have a next appointment, but some may make the records change over the phone. Make sure your health insurance also makes the change so that you're still insured upon arriving for an appointment. 

8. Mortgage/Apartment
Your mortgage company, bank or apartment complex will be able to give you the correct info on how to make this change. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with this one! 

9. Bills, Bills, Bills
Depending on how many bills are in your name will determine how long this will take! It's important to remember that your online billing presence is just as important as the physical bills that come in the mail each month. So, when you're browsing and buying on Target.com after your wedding, be sure to make the proper billing changes so your card won't decline! 

10. Voter Registration
This will probably come up in your visit to the DMV, but if not, it's worth checking our your state's voter registration information and making sure a new one (with your new name) will be in the mail soon. Here's Texas information on voter registration. 

11. Passport
I still don't have one of these, but my sister recently had to update hers for a specific travel. She still had her maiden name, so had to order a complete new one. Don't forget this, especially if you go abroad frequently (and remember how long they can take to get back to you!)

12. Social Media, Email, Online Profiles
Like social wasn't the first thing you did the moment you got ahold of your phone the night of your wedding! It's easy to remember the Facebooks and Twitters, but you may want to also update your email profile and online bios in all your apps. 

* You need these to be complete before moving on to any other name change attempt. 

Making your way through the list can be kind of tedious, but plan it out and get. it. done. The sooner you get all those names changed, the less likely you'll be the fool in the bank lobby 4.5 years late! 

$100 IKEA Dormspiration

As I feel every year, I'm so excited (and jealous) of anyone getting ready to move into a college dorm this fall. I think it's such a fun time to decorate, become who you truly are, meet lifelong friends. Ahh. Take me back!

While dorm shopping can get a bit expensive, having a game plan and buying bigger eye-catching pieces can transform those little blank rooms without spending way too much. Here's a few ways to transform a dorm room for $100, shopping at IKEA:

BLACK AND WHITE GRAPHIC - 

ikea-dorm-purple-artistic-inspiration
ikea-dorm-white-inspiration

Duvet Set $30 | Lace Curtains $13 | Shower Curtain $8 | Hand Towel $5
Desk Lamp $15 | Small Rug $15 | Cushion Cover $11 | TOTAL: $97

Try not to overdue the dorm shopping! I think my mom and I went down every aisle of a grocery store and picked up every single thing we saw that first weekend before college. I think the thought process is, but "you MAY need this...and that...and this." Only get the true necessities and anything else can always be purchased later on. Or, you'll find out you didn't really need all those things in the first place.