Just because we’re generally buried under heaps of laundry when we’re not chasing the kids around, doesn’t mean that we can’t have nice things! We can make our homes comfortable and safe, but that doesn’t mean our walls need to be bare. When you’re a busy mom, some things just fall by the wayside. But rest assured: there are simple, budget friendly options out there that helped to take your walls from lackluster to gallery worthy! We’re all constantly snapping photos on our phones – time to put those snapshots on display! A really simple upgrade to just a 4×6 print is to make a canvas print of your photo. It couldn’t be simpler! You can create your print online at Walgreens and arrange to pick it up in store or have it delivered. Hang a few of these in groupings on your walls, or lean one on a fireplace mantle or a bookshelf to display your favorite memories. The texture and depth make expensive frames unnecessary while still managing to look quite upscale. Bright, textural wall hangings can fill empty walls, providing a focal point and a pop of color. A fun and easy way to obtain the look can be found at hardware stores such as Home Depot. Grab a variety of cheap ceiling medallions that are typically affixed to the ceiling around a hanging light. Find a fun spray paint color that will complement your decor. (I’ve even used metallic spray paints!) Spray the medallions in a well ventilated area and allow them to dry. Voilà! A chic upgrade that didn’t break the bank. Now this mama on the go can display her artwork on the walls!
And that by the time they’ve hit their third birthday, you’ll have spent more than $2,100 buying at least 8,580 diapers! Crazy!
That’s a huge expense on a family, so we’ve put together a list of 9 ways you can get free diapers….
1. Free Samples
Believe it or not, there are a ton of companies that will send you free diapers just for trying out their brand. It’s not a long-term savings strategy, but you can definitely get enough samples to last you for a week or so. Every little bit helps!
Honest Company – They will send you 7 of their premium diapers and 10 baby wipes.
Simply Right – It seems to vary, but they sent us 5 diapers.
Little Huggies – Register here for a free sample pack of diapers & wipes.
Seventh Generation – They’ll send you 2 free, organic cloth diapers.
2. Pampers Gifts to Grow
Join the Pampers Gifts to Grow program and they’ll send you free diapers as reward for your loyalty to the Pamper’s brand.
Every time you buy a box of Pampers, look for the code inside the box and enter it into the website above. Those points can be saved up and later redeemed for diapers, baby food and toys.
3. Diaper Bank
If things are really tough, check out the National Diaper Bank Network. The non-profit network is aimed at assisting low-income families and they’ve started local chapters all over the country.
As you probably know, food stamps and WIC do not provide diapers, so this is a wonderful alternative to those who need assistance.
4. Enter a Diaper Contest
Try your luck at winning some free diapers. There are hundreds of diaper contests online and you never know when you’re going to get lucky.
In fact, the folks over at Everyday Family currently have a giveaway where you win diapers for an entire year (est. value – $750)! Here’s the link.
Another great loyalty program is the Huggies “Enjoy the Ride Rewards” program. It’s similar to the Pamper’s program in that each time you buy Huggies diapers or other baby products, you enter the code into the Huggies Rewards website.
Once you’ve save up enough points, you can request coupons for free diapers or other Huggies products.
5. Get Free Diapers with Swagbucks
Arguably one of the cheapest places to get diapers is at Amazon, so here’s a tip on how to get a free Amazon gift card. Join the Swagbucks rewards program.
They’ll give you Amazon gift cards for using their search engine, answering trivia questions, and watching videos. It’s not a ton of money, but most people are able to earn about $10 a month in free Amazon gift cards.
6. Use Cloth Diapers
A lot of parents have found that using washable, cloth diapers can be a great way to save on diapers. Finanical blogger, Courtney Baker, recently did the math and found that a family with three kids could save over $2,500 by switching to cloth diapers!
7. Become a Diaper Ambassador
If you can convince other moms to start buying their diapers online, the folks over at Diapers.com will pay you!
They have a pretty lucrative referral program where you can earn $5 in diaper credit for every mom you refer to the site. Here’s a link to their referral program.
8. Ask the Diaper Companies
Look – diapers are a big business and companies know that once you’ve started with their brand, you’re likely to continue using them until your child is potty-trained. So take advantage of this and register with the major brands below for free coupons and diapers:
9. Eliminate Diapers All-Together?
A few months ago, one of our contributors shared her story of raising her son diaper-free. It’s a growing trend and it’s no wonder since the average family can save more than $2,100 going this route. Would you consider this?
Your Turn: Have you used any of these tips in the past to get free diapers?
Putting your child in a kindergarten or any other day care center can be very expensive and sometimes not even worth the money you spend Vs the money you earn. As a mother once your maternity leave is over its time to get back to work, however there are many moms out there who are only working part time jobs and are that their earning are low and are barely enough to cover the cost of living with a new born.
Creative moms have developed many survival techniques which help them provide more income, send their children to the best kindergarten and still keep their day job which allows them to still feel like a normal grown up.
While many moms have found many creative ways to generate some more income, the latest trend is online trading. Moms who have taking their maternity leave time off work to learn a whole new technique which now allows them to enjoy constant income.
Online trading has made financial investments easier than ever, investments are made on the internet and can be monitored from any device which has an internet connection. This online trading system is known as the binary options trading system.
With binary options almost anyone can become a trader, however the fact that moms to newborn children have the time to learn the binary field inside and outside brings many advantages to their trading experience.
While a regular trader is anxious to start trading, mothers on maternity leave have the time to master this form of trading with the help and use of several binary options strategies which can be tested on a wide variety of trading platforms who offer these moms a free demo account.
By using a free demo account investors and mamas can become professional trader prior to risking even one dollar of their own. This way by the time these mamas are back to work they have already mastered the basics of binary options trading, leaving them the time to focus on raising their children and their careers.
All that’s left is to follow your trading signals and strategies and execute on time. Although binary trading sounds easy and even fun, mamas should remember that binaries, similar to any other financial investment contain high risks and could lead to sever loses and therefore should always be traded in accordance to a well-developed money management strategy.
Binary options are also known as all or nothing options which means you can either win or lose, winning means you will be ending in the money; generating an average profit of 81% while losing means you’ll be ending out of the money; losing your entire investment.
Taking the time to learn your binary trading prior to risking your own capital is one of the best methods used to gain more control on your investments, however there is no one who can predict the right outcome in 100% of the cases so plan to win and stay prepared for a loss.
When buying a home in Australia, people tend to primarily focus on the price of the home and the interest rate of their mortgage. With this information, they figure out an estimate of how much their monthly mortgage payments will be, among other things. While your loan is in underwriting, a variety of fees and charges will be calculated. Before closing on your home, then, you should have a fairly good idea about how much you’ll have to pay before being handed the keys to your new home. There’s one fee that’s not due at closing but shouldn’t be overlooked: stamp duty can be easily managed with a lending institution like Choice Home Loans’ help.
What is Stamp Duty?
In Australia, stamp duty is a tax that’s imposed on a variety of different acquisitions. In the case of real estate transactions, the duty is paid by the purchaser. As with other duties and taxes, the funds that are collected are used for the betterment of society.
If you’re buying a home in Australia, you will probably have to pay stamp duty. In some cases, though, you may be exempt. Laws regarding real estate stamp duties vary from one state and territory to the next, however, so it’s crucial to find out the rules for your jurisdiction before proceeding.
Depending on where you’re buying property, you may not be responsible for stamp duty if you’re a first home buyer, a young farmer or a pensioner. Concessions are sometimes also made for family farms, deceased estates and when the property will be the principle place of residence.
How Much Does Stamp Duty Cost?
Stamp duty is typically based on the greater of the following: the price paid for a home plus GST, if applicable, or the market value of a home. The way in which stamp duty is calculated varies from one territory or state to the next. Stamp duty calculators are available online, so you can get a rough idea about how much you’ll have to pay.
What’s the Deadline for Paying Stamp Duty?
Assuming you have to pay stamp duty, you typically have 30 days to do so. This means that you have 30 days following the settlement of your transaction to pay the duty or risk being charged fees and penalties. Those fees and penalties can really add up, so it’s crucial to not only be aware of how much duty you’ll owe but to pay it in full and in a timely manner.
Designing your own gaming room can be a lot of fun. A dedicated space for your favourite past times can be a great place to go and unwind and a very sociable environment for you and your friends to relax in without any other distractions.
Whether its snooker, PlayStation games or casino games such as Poker and Blackjack, you can get inspiration from sites like Lucky Nugget to create a custom made environment to suit your needs. Big screen televisions, arcade and pinball machines and table games like ping pong are all great options for you to think about. The best thing to do when you start is to make up a list of the games you would ideally like to play in there and then measure up and plan how much of that will actually fit into the space you have.
Aside from the games themselves, things like seating and lighting are very important aspects that really make or break the ambience of a gaming room. Seating should be big and comfortable. Hours upon hours can disappear when you are gaming so it’s important to bear this in mind especially if you expect your friends to want to come and stay there for long periods of time. Food and drink are important too, so if you have the space, you could consider installing a fridge or mini bar for all the essentials and for added luxury factor.
If you want groups of friends to come round, don’t just expect everyone to crowd around 2 layer games such as computer games. Provide other tables with enough space around them so people start up a game of cards or maybe a ping pong match.
As this is your very own dedicated room, you could go very gimmicky with the theme and perhaps choose a sport that you love. If its casino games you love for example, you decorate the room as if it’s a casino hall complete with patterned carpet, flashing lights and slot machines.
The summer holidays are almost upon us and although our children will be at their happiest as they have no school and long hours of sunshine to play out in, they tend to get bored and frustrated around the same people in the same setting during the holidays after a short time. This is when the days become long for moms as we are required to think of ways to keep them entertained in a hundred different ways to keep the boredom and fighting away. At times like these once bedtime comes around we’re grateful for the peace and quiet and here are our favorite ways to unwind after a long day during the summer holidays.
A Long, Hot Soak in the Bath
I don’t think that we can imagine anything better after a long day of bringing our children to places to keep them entertained during a hot summer’s day than a long, hot, bubbly bath. The house has gone quiet as they’re all in bed now and after pouring a cool, refreshing glass of wine slipping into the bubbles and just relaxing in the peace and quiet until the water starts to cool down. Perfect! This can also help with your stress management!
Snuggling up on the Couch
Whether it be with your husband, partner or just your favourite pet making yourself comfortable on the couch and watching Netflix, the soaps recorded from earlier in the evening, your favourite DVD or even just lying there with your eyes closed while your significant other watches some sport or other manly nonsense is a great way to blow away the stresses of the day after dealing with hot and tired youngsters.
This is one of my favourites as I am an online bingo fanatic and sitting in front of my laptop chatting away with fellow bingo enthusiasts while the games of 75 ball and 90 ball bingo are played makes a refreshing change from conversing with young children throughout the day. It is a little selfish, but it is nice to have some adult conversation, other than my husband who can be tired after long days working, in the evenings. I also enjoy the variety of games available on gaming sites and one day I hope to emulate UK resident John O. who won £5.8m from a 30p spin on The Dark Knight online slot game while playing bingo games at ButlersBingo.com so that my family and I can afford to retire early and in luxury. A girl can dream, can’t she?
A Night On the Town
What can be better than getting a babysitter in to mind the children and heading out for a romantic meal with your husband, partner or significant other before hitting the town for a few drinks and some dancing? In my opinion, very little tops this as a way to destress after a long day keeping your children occupied and stopping them from tearing each other’s hair out!
Our personal favourite it hitting the local Italian restaurant before moving onto our local pub and after closing time onto the nearest late bar where an hour of dancing and a couple more drinks leaves content and ready to face another day of nonstop madness from the children!
What are your personal favourites to unwind and destress after one of those mad days with bored children during the school holidays?
When you are running a small business, there are countless issues you need to bear in mind. From achieving sales targets to sweeping and cleaning your premises, and everything in between, small businesses often rely on the owner and one or two other staff to cover every business function. This becomes more challenging when you get into technical areas, like legal and finance. At its most basic, tracking expenditure and finding a solid way to keep on top of your financial data is essential, allowing you to unlock the potential for better planning and more significant results. But what tools do you need in order to run your company finances in a more effective way?
From top CEOs like Cecilia Ibru Oceanic Bank International to the smallest of one-man businesses, every business leader needs a firm grasp on the numbers. This is imperative, because it allows you to compare performance across different periods, in addition to making decisions about your next strategic move. In the small business scenario, it is easier for the owner who has full command of finances to make these projections and forecasts.
It starts with effectively tracking your cash flow in and out of your business. Cash flow is one of the most important aspects of running your business, and even busy periods in trade can see problems if you don’t plan appropriately. You need to know what bills are falling due in the week and month in question, and how this will affect your cash position. It is not uncommon to be left chasing an unpaid invoice, but your staff still need to be paid at the end of the month. Forecast your income, and write down all the expenses you will incur in the month. This will allow you to plan for contingencies, while ensuring you have a firm understanding of your outgoings.
At the end of every month, it is important to total up your invoices received and payable, along with other expenses and costs incurred. This can be a tedious job, but it is often left to the business owner to calculate monthly totals. This data is essential for preparing your accounts, and keeping on top of things on a monthly basis allows you to better monitor the performance of your business.
If you offer credit terms in your business, pull back on the length of time you are prepared to allow for your customers to pay their invoices. You should also try to get better credit terms from any suppliers you deal with, to extend the amount of time you have to pay. This will maximize the gap between money going out and money coming in, and improve the cash flow in your business.
Effective business owners are intrinsically linked to their financials, and understand an array of figures intimately. By recording transactions as they happen, and creating regular statements for a side-by-side comparison of performance, you can have access to invaluable information for making better business decisions.
Managing household finances is an important element of running your home successfully. In many cases, it is mom’s responsibility to keep household budgets ticking. With rising food prices and ever-increasing energy bills, this task is becoming increasingly difficult for families across the country. However, that doesn’t mean there are no opportunities to better structure your finances, in a way that makes you and your family financially better off. Often, even subtle changes to the way you arrange your finances can make the difference, and taking these steps now can pay dividends over the long term.
Wastage is common within household budgets. We are all guilty of being wasteful, both in the things we buy, and the way we save our money. In reality, very few households are operating at 100% financial efficiency, and everyone can benefit from reviewing their expenditure to identify cost savings. More sensible shopping is a good starting point, as one of the major regular sources of expenditure in the home.
Planning meals more effectively, and buying offers or bulk deals can help you shave off more than you would think from these types of bills. The same logic applies to utilities. Any way you can reduce these costs is a win for your household budget, so it makes sense to think critically about what you are spending and how you can reduce that amount.
If you want to save for the future, it is helpful to devise a savings plan, based on realistic calculations about what you will be able to put away each month. If you are reducing expenditure, this should free up more money to be saved and invested. Provided you are investing in the right types of secure, interest-bearing financial products, you can grow your savings in a measured, consistent way. Or, for those who feel like embracing more significant risk, there are alternative options available that can yield higher rates of return.
Certificates of deposit are a common tool used by householders investing for the future. Anything that comes with a Federal guarantee is good news from a savings perspective, and CD rate averages have long been a staple of prudent households. For those with more risk appetite, the potential for better returns through riskier investments like the stock market should also be investigated. Think about what you want to achieve from your finances – are you saving for the future in a stable, responsible way, or are you looking to maximize the benefits now, no matter the risk? The answer you give will influence how you should best invest the money you have.
There are few right and wrong answers when it comes to managing household budgets, and you might find an investment product that works for you doesn’t work for everyone else. Similarly, there may be ways you can reduce the monthly costs of your family outgoings, particularly relevant to your circumstances. By factoring these elements in to your household planning, it can become possible to streamline your financial setup, helping make your household more financially secure in the process.
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This winter is going to be a particularly tough time for families on two fronts. The harshest season of them all is just around the corner and it is likely to be one of the worst in decades. This problem has been coupled with the rising energy prices for gas and electric. The timing of these price hikes couldn’t be any more unfortunate for families, with cost cutting exercises now needed.
Cheap Ways to Insulate Your Home
For big families who have many children and numerous rooms to heat, this winter will be a tough challenge to keep everybody in your home warm. When the cold snap hits the UK this year, families constrained by the demanding energy prices will have to think of ingenious ways to keep warm.
Finding cheap ways to insulate a home is one of the key ways to bypass some of the problems. After some internet research you should find plenty of options. Loft insulation usually costs around £300, with energy price savings upwards of £200 a year.
Waste Less Food
UK households throw away an average of £7.2 million tonnes of food waste each year. The majority of this food could have been eaten, meaning you are essentially throwing money away.
Each household wastes around £50 worth of edible food that easily could have been consumed. The best way to curb this food waste trend is to change some of your family’s habits. For instance, bread is edible until it goes green. The best before day on many items just is a guideline. In most cases, if the food looks good and smells good, it is absolutely fine to eat.
Consolidate Your Car Insurance
Expenditure such as paying for insurance can be one of those things you hate to do. The idea of paying for something that you may never use is hard that’s for sure. This is why when you are looking for cost cutting ideas, a look towards cutting insurance costs is a good idea.
This doesn’t mean you should leave yourself lacking cover. It simply means you should have a look at combining insurances if possible. If you are a big family with three or more cars, fleet insurance would be a great option.
In essence, fleet insurance, such as the one available with insureFLEET, allows you to have one policy across a number of different vehicles. This means that a switch to a fleet policy would give you significant savings on your premiums.
It happens to the best of us. We splash out on that vacation, buy a new car when we really can’t afford it, or rack up big bills eating out and purchasing all those little luxuries that make life seem sweet. Soon, we’re not clearing off our credit card balances each month, and we seem to fall further and further behind. At some point, our debt gets to the level where we are struggling to meet the bills each month, and we can’t pay for the necessities – let alone any luxuries.
If you are in this situation, the hard truth is that there are only two ways to get your debt under control. You can spend less or find ways to reduce the amount you pay to service your debt. In fact, it is probably a good idea to pursue both of these strategies if you want to get out of debt as quickly as possible.
Let’s start with reducing the cost of servicing debt. Credit cards are one of the most expensive ways to borrow money, and yet they are probably the most common way that we get into debt. If your credit is still good, consider taking out a loan at a lower rate to clear your credit card balances. To get the lowest rate, you need to get a secured loan – for example, by remortgaging your home – but even if you get an unsecured personal loan, you will end up paying less than you do for your monthly credit card bills. Not only that, the amount you owe will go down in time, rather than just keeping up with the interest charges.
Of course, you may think you just have a short-term problem. In this case, it can be very tempting to get a quick cash loan from a payday lender to get you over the crisis. However, before you do this, be aware that you are going to pay very high interest rates, so this isn’t a solution for more than a few weeks. Instead, consider asking a family member to advance you the amount using a money transfer service such as Trans-Fast.
When it comes to reducing expenditures, the most important thing you can do is to make a budget and stick to it. List everything that you spend in a month – not just accommodation, groceries, transportation and utilities. The little expenditures are the ones that you can control most easily, whereas it’s pretty difficult to cut down on mortgage or rent payments. Individually, the amounts may not seem like much, but if you cook at home rather than eating out, only drive when you need to, downgrade to a basic cable service and so on, it will all add up.
If you find you are struggling to put a good plan in place, then go and get expert assistance. There are a number of free nonprofit credit counseling agencies that can help you to budget your money and pay your bills. They can even reduce your debt payments by negotiating a debt management plan with your creditors. Just be aware that if you do set up a debt management plan, this can affect your credit rating.