staycation ideas

It’s that time of year again. The kids are out of school and you really want to spend time with them and make wonderful memories, but a vacation is out of the question. You can’t get away and, even if you could, it’s way out of your budget.

Uncle Sam took more than his share, or your calculated share, anyway. Credit card bills are bleeding you dry, and you can’t put more on plastic. So you crawl under the covers and hide, wishing a solution would surface.

Here it is.

Look on the bright side, sunshine. For a beautiful time creating memories with your loved ones, you need only two days and some imagination.

Try these staycation ideas for a grand time (without spending a grand!). [ continue reading… ]

pregnant balance

The flexibility of freelancing is what’s most appealing to me. I can get assignments done in my sweats or at odd hours of the night.

But while freelancing does come with a lot of flexibility, it can be hard to juggle a self-made workload while you’re pregnant. The harsh truth about running a freelance business, is that there are no paid sick days, and you don’t get a paycheck just for showing up.

During my second pregnancy, I was able to do a lot more freelance work than I was my first pregnancy. I am not sure if I just felt better this time around or if I developed more productive time management skills.

Here’s what I learned about how to balance your workload as an expectant mother in the freelance market.

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None of us like to think about our own or our loved ones’ mortality, but ignoring that eventuality will not make a stressful situation any easier. When a family member dies, it’s important for you to know what responsibilities you might be facing.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect if a family member dies and leaves debts behind:

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I am volunteering one day a week as a lunch room helper at my kids’ elementary school this school year. After a few weeks, I can share these observations with my fellow parents:

  • After a morning spent sitting still and paying attention, most kids would rather talk than eat. This is especially true of the younger children (the older ones are better at multitasking!)
  • The lunch period passes quickly! Getting the children to and from the lunchroom takes quite a bit of time. If you’re at the end of the line, you’ll have to be fast to eat all of your food.
  • A lot of food is thrown away. Not just the purchased school lunches, but entire sandwiches, pieces of fruit and other sides. Not surprisingly, the less healthy choices tend to be eaten first.

Seeing this has changed the way I pack my children’s lunches. Like most parents, my goal is to send my children to lunch with a healthy meal that is also easy on the family budget. Here are a few of my best tips:
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get free stuff

In this economic climate, everyone is trying to stretch a dollar as far as it will go. But what if you don’t have to spend anything at all to get the things you’d buy anyway? The following is a list of websites and services that can connect you to free items:
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Winter On a Budget

by Vered DeLeeuw · 7 comments

winter on a budget
Winter can get expensive! Whenever I feel the temperatures dropping, one of my first thoughts is, “Great! Back to seeing $500 each month on our utilities bill.” Heating is of course a major expense during the winter, but there are other expenses including buying new coats for kids who have outgrown their old coats, taking the family car to the car shop to make sure it’s winter-ready, engaging in snow sports (downhill skiing can get expensive!), and paying for indoor activities (since you can’t take the kids to the park).

With some advance planning, you CAN manage your costs during winter. These are the things that work for me as I try to keep my family’s winter-related expenses in check.
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