My Story: Tricks of the Mom Trade
contributed by Janet
As a busy wife, mom, and not-too-senior grandmom, saving time and money is very important. Here are a few "tricks of the trade" that have helped my family and myself out over the years:
To save time:
- Plan ahead the night before. Have your kids' clothing and your own clothing ready and waiting for you in advance. You would be amazed at the time, effort and anxiety this one tip could save you.
- Pack lunches the night before too, if possible. Bringing your own lunch not only saves money but gives you more free time to run errands on your lunch hour.
- Make a "to-do" list for the next day only. More than likely, you will accomplish all or most of your goals by limiting your outlook for just the one day.
- Stop over-scheduling the kids! Let them have simple play days at home! As my daughter would say, "I'm giving my son a chance to chill." As an extra bonus, you get to take advantage of some "downtime" with the kids as well.
To save cash:
- Get in the habit of saving anything you can every day. Would you go a day without combing your hair or showering? Once you get into the habit of saving your leftover change, you will never turn back. And don't forget to take that first hundred dollars over to your local bank to open a brand new savings account or CD. Get over to the real bank for deposits only at least once a month.
- Live a "no frills" life for awhile. Swim, dance, and play ball. Have no cost or low cost fun. Enjoy recreational activities that promote exercise and good health. Move away from being entertained and get active whenever possible. You will soon learn that this "no frill" lifestyle reaps many rewards.
- Go over your current cell phone plan and find out if you can get better rates. Take advantage of freebie time on your plan at nights and on weekends. In fact, if at all possible, limit the usage to those times.
- Visit relatives or friends for dinner a couple times a month, but be sure to invite them back as a courtesy. If you are having a really tight money month, be honest with the folks. Since they are your true friends and family, I am sure they wouldn't mind. You will be getting out of the house and kitchen, and enjoying good company to boot!
- Learn the art of saying no. This took some time for me to learn, but I eventually did. I never realized how extraneous errand running and cash lending (to no avail) could affect my mental and financial health. It is okay to say no to folks who may be taking advantage of your kindness. How can you figure it out? Trust me, you will sense it, and when you do, act appropriately!
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com
Take the Next Step
- Plan ahead - Smooth mornings help the rest of the day to go better!
- Find out the thrills in living a "no frills" lifestyle!
- Visit momAgenda and get organized in style. MomAgenda was created to simplify the lives of busy moms.
- Check family product reviews at Cheapism.com before making a purchasing decision.
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Also In This Week's Issue
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- 6 steps to a successful money talk with your spouse
- 5 creative ways to wrap gift cards
- Thrifty stocking stuffers
- Should your kid take a part-time job?
- 6 secrets to saving more at discount stores
- Healthy family breakfasts
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