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Budget Tips to See More Green This Holiday Season

Saving for a down payment or home renovation? Socking away a little extra cash can be a challenge this time of the year — with holiday parties to attend, food and drink to buy and, of course, gifts for family and friends. Consider these great tips if you want to stick to a budget and still have the merriest of holidays.

Get Crafty

A quick and easy way to save a little cash is to make gifts for loved ones. They are likely to appreciate the thought and time you invested more than the amount you spent — whether it’s a framed photo, hand-knit scarf, or personalized ornament.

Consider a Gift Exchange

Do a gift exchange with close family and friends. Set a budget everyone can afford. If the spending limit is $100, that means you spend that amount on one person versus spending what would probably be more than that to buy gifts for the whole group.

Do a Subscription Cleanse

This is a great time of year to evaluate your subscriptions, including magazines and streaming services. Eliminating recurring payments for publications or services you’re not using or can live without can mean extra money in your pocket.

‘Tis the Season to Share (a Car)

If you’re a city dweller, consider selling your car or putting off that purchase. Borrowing a car or using a ride-sharing service to run errands or meet friends is convenient and can save you money.

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Baird & Warner’s Role in Keeping Chicago’s Growth on Track

Here’s a little-known fact about Baird & Warner: the firm helped the city expand its railway system in the 19th century.

Chicago’s first elevated train line — or “L” — debuted in 1892. It was constructed to take visitors from downtown to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park. Two years later, when the city wanted to expand the railway north, Baird & Warner was asked to obtain the right-of-way for the Northwestern Elevated Railroad to Wilson Avenue. Wyllys W. Baird, the second Baird to lead the firm, personally acted on behalf of the railroad.

Originally known as the Northwestern Line, it included sections of today’s CTA Red, Brown, and Purple lines. The track ran from the Loop to the Wilson Avenue station in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, where Baird & Warner built its first branch office under the L tracks.

After this success, Baird & Warner was asked to obtain the right-of-way for the Ravenswood Branch Line — what we now know as the Brown Line — from Southport to Kimball, and later, in 1906 and 1907, to acquire land for today’s Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station.

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