save money on babies

The first time I walked into Babies”R”Us when pregnant with my first child, I felt overwhelmed almost to the point of hyperventilating. There were so many products out there — and it felt like every single purchase I made would determine my child’s fate.

Four years and another baby later, it’s clear to me now that baby gear manufacturers and retailers probably want you to be panicked. It’s much easier to sell unnecessary items to frightened and overwhelmed parents, since you’ll be happy to buy any product that will help you feel more in control.

But just like any other purchases, some baby gear is worth the investment, while some will clutter up the nursery until you have a yard sale a decade later.

Here are four baby products worth spending extra money on: [ continue reading… ]

side gigs

Since job security is almost as hard to find as well-rested new parents, we have to create our own financial stability by building multiple sources of incomes. That can mean taking on freelance work, starting up our own businesses, or pursuing a potentially lucrative hobby.

With the average worker now holding 10 different jobs before age 36, the only way to guarantee a little bit of continuity is to take matters into our own hands. Here are nine ways to get started:

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You’re Not a Celebrity, But You Can Have Their Skin (At Home and on a Budget!)

Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Ryan Reynolds… what do these powerful names have in common?

Flawless flesh.

You’ve tried plenty of expensive treatments. You’ve tried the over-the-counter products at retail stores. You’ve even tried the hokey products advertised on TV in the middle of the night, when you couldn’t sleep and were up feeling bad about yourself. Unfortunately, nothing seems to help — our skin is still brightly colored sandpaper.

What’s happening? Is it just the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars that celebs spend on skin care? Or is there more to it than that?

Working in the Wrong Direction

The problem isn’t trying the wrong products, or that you don’t have the extra budget to spend on lavish treatments at the dermatologist or local spa. The problem is that you’re not supplementing what you’re already doing with the right products.

Topical solutions can scrub the grime, masks can temporary replenish some of the vitamins and minerals that have been lost, and creams and moisturizers can give your skin the dewy glow you’ve been trying to get — but you’ll have to reapply as soon as 30 minutes after your first application.

You’ve done all you can do on the outside. What are you doing to fix your skin from the inside?
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Your pet is very important to you, but the bills are killing your budget. These days, the expenses for both young and elderly pets are rising, but once you bonded to that animal it is hard to say no. Though with a little work you can save money on those necessary expenses and still provide your pet with excellent care.

Get a Pet from the Shelter

Getting a pet from the shelter means you will get a pet with their vaccines current, spaying complete and a recent medical exam. If you choose a middle-aged pet, you generally won’t have to worry about much in the way of medical expenses other than regular vaccines.
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gratitude and contentment
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s not supposed to be steeped in consumerism. And, for me and my family, it usually isn’t. We relax, eat good food, and enjoy each other’s company.

A few days ago, my son pointed out that the holiday season comes with a rather odd juxtaposition. We’re supposed to be giving thanks for what we have on Thursday morning, but by the night of Thanksgiving, when retailers are opening at 5 p.m. for Black Friday deals, all is forgotten and we’re in “gimme” mode.

While thinking about that, it occurred to me that many of us could be much happier (and richer) by practicing gratitude and learning contentment.
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hello fresh
I finally caved in and signed up for the meal plan Hello Fresh when I was able to try it out for $19 after seeing advertisements and coupon codes for the weekly food boxes constantly.

Hello Fresh advertises themselves as a money-saving, time-saving alternative to eating out. Here are my top pros and cons of the company.

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