Tips For Keeping Your Teens Out Of Trouble

When it comes to being a parent the baby and toddler years are hard enough as it is.  However, the teen years come with their own set of challenges.  While your children may at this point be old enough to dress, feed, and bathe themselves, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have plenty of new things for you to have to worry about.

Teens tend to get into trouble a great deal since this is the age when they are starting to learn their limits and experiment with boundaries.  It is important to remember that this is completely normal and that you shouldn’t feel that anything is out of the ordinary or wrong with them.  Rather than panicking and assuming you are the only parent in the world going through this, remain calm and try the following tactics.

Show Them Statistics

Sometimes the greatest way to show your teens how to stay out of trouble isn’t by simply saying, “Don’t do this!” But instead, showing them why they shouldn’t partake in certain activities.  You should try to explain to them the results of dangerous behavior like abusing drugs and alcohol.

Sometimes it takes seeing the real effects of behavior presented in front of your face to get the big picture.  Being honest with your teenagers about how their choices can affect them, in the long run, is something that can be extremely impactful.

Be Honest With Them About Your Past

Try to talk to your kids about things that you have experimented with.  Be honest.  The more that you speak to your teens as a friend and less like someone that is towering over them with information, the more receptive they will be.

Since this age is so rebellious, it is best to try to level with them rather than be condescending.  This way of being and thinking doesn’t work very well when you want to get a message across effectively.

Spend More Time As a Family

Studies show that the more time you spend as a family the less likely kids is to fall victim to destructive behavior.  When you give them a solid foundation they don’t feel inclined to seek rebellious behavior.

Try doing things like family game nights, eating dinner together, or even just enjoying some couch time watching shows together.

Encourage Them To Be Honest With You

If you don’t leave the doors open between you and your teen, to be honest about what they are up to then you run the risk of them being too afraid to come to you when they have an issue. Make sure that they know you will always be there for them even if they think they will get in trouble.

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Tips For Going Back To School When You Have Kids

Making the decision to go back to school to increase your education is a big decision when you have a family.  The amount of work it takes to get a degree plus the amount of work it takes to keep a household running can be a pretty overwhelming combination.

The challenges of combining both of these things can lead some parents to be too afraid to even dare take them on at once. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible.  With strong intentions, hard work, and positivity, you can make anything work.  Here are some of the best tips if you are a parent who has been considering going back to school.

Consider an Online Degree

Getting your degree online is a great option since you can do most of your work from your home simultaneously being able to take care of your household.  If you have the desire to start a new career or develop further skills in your current career, this may just be the perfect option for you.

Many schools such as Maryville University offer programs for students with fantastic curriculums and tools to help you reach your career goals. The convenience of being able to work from home at any time makes it a perfect match for a busy parent who has an unconventional schedule trying to take care of the kids.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Friends For Help

Going back to school is something that will require your full attention at times, so it is important to not feel guilty about having to take away your attention from your kids.  Remember that the reason you are taking your attention away from them to focus on your studies is to further your education and make a better life not only for you but for them as well.

Stay Motivated

When things get challenging you can start to have your doubts about whether you should throw in the towel or not.  Many people aren’t up to the task of following through when things begin to present obstacles.

Often it can be easy to find excuses for why you should quit or why it isn’t working.  However, remind yourself of why you began in the first place. Write down all of the reasons why you weren’t satisfied with the way things were going and write down all of the things you would like to see in your life.  Stare at this list often and keep yourself motivated.

Do Your Work In The Evenings

It can be advantageous to do your work at night when your kids are in bed and the day is finished. This way you can totally focus on your studies and homework without the distractions of housework or doing things for the kids.

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Quick Solutions For When Your Family Is In a Financial Pinch

If you’re the main financial provider to your family, there may times when you go through a monetary pinch or two, where it’s important that you cut down on your budget for a minute, or find out some way to get some quick cash, particularly for things like food or paying necessarily bills like gas or electricity.

But if you find yourself on the edge of payment ability, consider the options of payday loans, credit card purchases, buying bulk food, cutting out luxuries for a little bit, or adjusting your heating and cooling to cut down on energy costs.

Payday Loans

Getting payday loans is one of the more efficient solutions to getting cash on the fly. Just remember that interest rates can really catch you off guard if you don’t pay back those loans as quickly as possible. They can be an extremely fast way to make sure that loose bills get paid on time, but falling behind on payday loan payments can be a far worse black mark on your financial timeline if you aren’t careful.

Credit Card Purchases

Even if you don’t want to use it because you have a balance on it, using a credit card to make sure that life continues for your family uninterrupted isn’t the worst thing in the world. You may end up paying quite a bit extra for it eventually as you try to pay the credit card balance off, but at least you’ll have a way out of some type of dire emergency. Even if you have to apply for a new credit card in order to have this option, at least it’s something that’s available to you in a pinch.

Buying Bulk at the Grocery Store

Another way to stretch a buck is by buying bulk at the grocery store next time. Rice, beans, noodles – you know the drill. Things that taste good, last as dry goods, and can be a part of meals for weeks. That simple step alone can save you a lot of money in the short run.

Temporarily Cutting Out Some Excess Luxuries

For better or worse you don’t need to buy soda or juice. Water is healthier for you, and comes right from the tap. By cutting out luxuries like soft drinks and juice on an entire family level, that can translate into hundreds of dollars of savings in a month, believe it or not.

Adjusting Your Heating and Cooling

And finally, adjusting your thermostat a little outside of your comfort range, and putting on extra clothes or relying on cool water to stay in your neutral acceptable environment range can saved you a ton on energy bills during the course of a month. Make sure to add that to your arsenal of money-saving techniques.

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Educational Vacations To Take With Your Kids

When it comes time to go on a family vacation it helps to pick something to do that is both fun and educational. You obviously want to do something that your kids will enjoy, and you want to have fun too. But why not make sure they’re learning while on vacation as well?

Anyone can go enjoy a beach in Florida, or visit Epcot Center, but why not plan a few other things as part of your vacation. It’s not likely that you’re taking the family on a one day vacation, so fit in all that you can in order to have fun and make this an experience your family will remember forever.

Visit Museums

Every town, no matter how small it is, has a museum. Some of them have a simple, small local museum that teaches people about the history of that specific area. Larger cities may have more than one museum, and ones that cover all sorts of things, from history to science.

Take some time and learn about the museums in or near the area you are visiting. This way you can make an itinerary that allows you to catch all the ones that may be of interest to you and your family. If you have artists in your family then an art museum is a good plan.

Take A Class Locally

Consider learning where you’re visiting. You’ll learn a lot if you have a guided tour of the museums you visit, but why not take some time to learn about other things while you’re visiting. Places that offer learning in any town or city include libraries, museums, and art galleries.

Maybe take a local art class that gets you out into the city you are visiting and teaches you to draw the local scenery. This is a way better than any postcard you’ll find at the visitor center.

Tour The Town And Ask Questions

Another fun thing for your family to do, especially if you are visiting someplace with historical sights and lots of things to look at, is to take a tour of the area you are visiting. Ask people questions about the art, architecture, and statues you see. Takes lots of photos and even take notes about the different things you see.

Many historical sights have plaques telling about the sight and who it is dedicated to. You can take photos of this, or write the info down. It could be fun and educational to have your kids write a daily report about the things they saw and what they learned each day of your vacation.
It may be fun to spend vacation at an amusement park, but why not add a little education and culture into your next family trip. Spend one day at the park, the next touring the city, and the next at a cultural event like a festival!

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Inexpensive Stocking Stuffer Ideas For The Kids

Christmas is coming and that means you may be scratching your head to figure out what your kids want this year.  Though the holidays can be expensive, it doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank when it comes to stuffing those stockings with your kids favorite goodies.  Leave the expensive presents for Santa, because here are some great ideas for stocking stuffers for kids of any age.

For Boys

Books are a great idea for boys and girls alike.  For a younger child, make sure to opt for board books so the pages don’t get torn, and for older children look into chapter books.  Also there are some great mini sets that LEGO offers that are less than $5.00 that you can help your kid build on Christmas Day.  If you have a younger boy you can give the gift of bath crayons to make bath time more enjoyable.

Another idea is to give the little boy in your life a Hot Wheel car or a container of Play-Doh.  You will also be surprised at all of the stocking stuffer ideas you can get at your local dollar store.  Depending on the store, many dollar stores have an assortment of stocking stuffers for both boys and girls.  Yo-yos, small piggy banks, decks of cards and even small chess sets can be found for the very low price of a dollar.

For Girls

For the little girl in your life, the ideas are endless.  Give your daughter a diary with a girly matching pen.  Most girls love dressing up, so find a coin purse, and put some lip gloss in it as an added surprise.  Every child loves books, so make sure to add an age appropriate book that your little girl will love.  If you are unsure what book your kid will like, provides a list of the 100 greatest books for kids.

For Teens

Buying for your teen can be tricky, but they still secretly want a stocking filled with holiday treats.  If your teen loves coffee, try a $5.00 or $10.00 gift card at Starbucks.  You can also never go wrong with a couple of movie tickets so they can go with a friend.  Another idea is to get them a magazine subscription.  Online sites such as Amazon have great deals for 12 month subscriptions to a variety of magazines running anywhere from $0.50 to $1.50 an issue for magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, and National Geographic.  Any room left in the stocking?  If your teen has a sweet tooth fill the rest up with their favorite type of candy.

With a little bit of money you can really put together a great stocking filled with fun things for your child of any age.

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Four Tips For Finding New And Creative Things To Do With The Family

Family bonding time getting boring? You could get a little creative and find some new things to do together. Not every family night needs to be about board games and having dinner together.

Get your family out of the house every once in awhile. You can do things in your own hometown over the course of an hour, or a few, or if you have a whole day or even a whole weekend to waste you could get even more adventurous.

Go To An Expo

Consider loading the family up and heading to the local event center to take in whatever fun expo may be in town. Even RV and boat shows can be fun for the whole family since they let every check out these things and maybe even walk away with some free swag, like pens, hats, and frisbees. You might even find a great deal on a boat or RV and have something else fun to do with the family the next time you take an adventure.

Take some time to find out about what expos come to your town or near your town. You may find anything from pet expos to gluten free expos. Some may be less family friendly, but expos are always great for window shopping, people watching, and getting free promotional materials from local and national businesses.

Take A Class Together

If you have a local recreational center you may want to look into what types of classes they offer for adults and for kids. You might be able to take a cooking class together or maybe even an art class. Kids love to learn and they’ll have even more fun learning when their parents are doing it with them.

Go On A Scavenger Hunt

Geocaching is the new way to scavenger hunt, and it all it takes is GPS and a geocaching website. You’ll get tips and coordinates to find hidden little boxes around your town or parks. Most of the time you can swap some little trinket or there will be a little notebook for you to leave your name or a note in. Some are hard to find and some are much easier.

Tour Your Town Or State

Take a day to take a tour of your own hometown with your kids. Walk the parks, look through the shops, check out the library, go see a movie, go to the beach, or take some time strolling through the museum. No matter how small or big your town in there is surely something to check out there and it can make for a great adventure with the family.

If you have more than a day, like maybe a whole weekend, consider loading up the vehicle and checking out some towns outside your own. Have a whole week? Take a state tour and visit some of the roadside attractions other places in your home state have to offer.

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Four Gift Ideas For The Mom That Has It All

The gift giving season is upon you and it’s now time to find the right gifts for the people that matter in your life. One of those people is your mom or the mother of your children. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right gift for a woman that appears to have it all.

If she’s a successful woman, no matter what she’s a success at, she may already have everything she wants and needs. She may simply be able to get the things she wants whenever she wants them. So what can you gift her?

For The Green Thumbs

If the woman in your life likes to garden then get her some gardening gifts. Maybe she needs some new pots for her container garden. Consider getting some that are larger than what she already owns so that she can transplant plants that have outgrown their current containers.

Not all green thumbs grow vegetables, so consider the woman with a love for flower beds as well when it comes to coming up with a great gift. That gift could be some new decor, like a garden gnome or angel. Or, maybe get her some bulbs to plant when spring comes, of some of her favorite flowers and plants.

In Need Of Relaxation

Most moms are in need of a little relaxation, so if you can’t figure out what to buy the mom in your life you may just get her something to help her relax. There are a lot of options, from sound machines that play soothing sounds like birds chirping and waterfalls falling. Or you could buy a machine that heats up natural oils to help put relaxing scents into the air.

If the mom in your life is more of a get up and go person you could get her a gift certificate to a massage therapist, or to the local yoga studio. Both of these are good relaxation choices as well.

Fashion Divas

Yes, there are some women out there that love fashion and beauty. If you have one of those in your life your best bet is to get her some gift cards to her favorite clothing and beauty stores. You could also consider getting her a makeover.

Book, Music, And Movie Lovers

People that love entertainment give you far more gift ideas than anyone else. You could get them gift cards to local book or music stores, or even something online, like Amazon. You could have your own book published just for them too.

You can also consider going to the technical side of it all and get them an e reader or a Blu-ray player. The options are endless. If you do get the mom in your life something like this you may want to include a gift certificate to someplace where they can buy ebooks, Blu-rays, or whatever else at.

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Tips For Choosing The Right At-Home Daycare

These days traditional daycares are increasingly expensive, costing some parents over half their salaries.  These rising costs leave many parents searching for childcare provided in a person’s home.

Choosing the right person to entrust our children with each day is not something to be taken lightly.  Several things must be taken into consideration before taking the leap of handing our children over to strangers.

Follow these tips to keep in mind for ensuring that you choose the best at home daycare provider.

Request a Background Check

Even if this prospective child care provider comes recommended to you by all the parents in the neighborhood and err on the side of caution.

Requesting a background check is perfectly standard and you shouldn’t fear offending them.

While this person may not necessarily be a serial killer, they may have had a history of drug abuse, theft, or any variety of criminal activities that is best known beforehand.

Having a background check ensures that you know that much more about the person you are trusting to care for your children.

Verify If They are a Registered Business

Some at-home daycares may seem too good to be true on pricing.  Chances are this is because they are an unlicensed provider.  If you are ok paying under the table and risking potential problems with the IRS, then perhaps that may be your option of choice.

However, one of the main downfalls of an unlicensed provider is, while it may be slightly cheaper, you can’t claim child care expenses on your tax return without their child care federal tax code.

Being unregistered can also mean that they are not liable for your child’s injury, or any other hazards that may occur under their watch.

Talk To Fellow Parents

When scoping out an at-home provider, try to meet some of the other parents that send their children there as well.  Ideally, you will meet with someone that you choose yourself rather than a suggested reference of the provider.  This way you avoid any bias.

Ask a fellow parent what they believe the positive aspects, as well as the negative aspects, are.  Don’t be scared away by one negative aspect, as rarely is any place 100% perfect.  Weigh out the good with the bad and come to a decision based on what you think you can stand for.

If you truly are on a budget, perhaps the place you are able to afford will be serving lunches with hot dogs and goldfish, not grain fed organic free range chicken served on a bed of pilaf.

Speak Your Mind

Don’t be afraid to ask the provider tough questions and be upfront about your expectations beforehand.  By putting everything on the table initially, you can ensure that you are both a fit for each other without concerns coming up later.

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Preparing For a New Baby: Simplified Tips

Many new parents can become overwhelmed with the bombardment of information coming at them about all the things they “need” for their new bundle of joy.   Whether it’s an overpriced rubber chew toy giraffe, or the silkiest all natural fiber baby carrier, hand-knitted by virgins in a field of organic grass.

The fact of the matter is, you don’t need hardly any of it.  Dr. Spock, one of America’s most famous authors on childcare and parenting says about baby cribs: “Sometimes there’s a cradle that’s been in the family for many years. A cardboard box or a drawer with a firm, tight-fitting pad also works well for the first couple of months.”

Your baby doesn’t care whether he or she is in italian silk sheets or something you got out of the goodwill bin.  As long as what you are using for your baby’s needs is safe, and clean, you don’t need to have the most expensive item on the market.

As far as necessities go, it’s all quite simple.

Diapers and Wipes

Your baby is going to poop and pee.  A lot.  This is one of those things that you unfortunately can’t cut corners on.  You need diapers, and you need a lot of them.

The environmental benefits of opting for cloth diapers is what sways many parents in that direction.  However, the convenience and simplicity of disposable diapers is what makes other parents go in the other direction.

Do some price comparisons and decide which kind of diaper is best for your family and budget.  The same goes for wipes. Traditional baby wipes being one option, or cotton and water being the other.

Breasts or Formula

If you’re wondering where all that poop and pee will be coming from, here is the culprit.  Your baby will need to eat sometimes as often as every 30 minutes during its early days.

You will need to provide milk either by nursing, or if that isn’t an option, choose a formula that your doctor or midwife recommends, and of course a bottle.


Your new baby will need a roof over it’s head and 4 walls with proper insulation.  Particularly if you are new parents in the winter time, this necessity is essential. You don’t need a castle or a high rise condo.  Just shelter.

Perhaps you could get away living off the land on a sandy beach somewhere in a hammock under a tree somewhere in the world, but in many parts of the modern world, that simply isn’t an option.


Babies need to be covered when they are newborns.  The womb is warm and the temperature drop the infant experiences when coming out during birth is pretty drastic.

After the initial skin to skin contact with their mother or father under a blanket, a baby should be properly bundled from head to toe.

Love and Affection

Last but not least, all of the rest would be in vain, if you didn’t love and adore your baby and give lots of kisses and touch!

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Tips for an enjoyable pregnancy

So you have a bun in the oven, and whether this is your first or fifth pregnancy, you’re looking to find ways to alleviate the unpleasant side effects of pregnancy. There are no ways to completely skip over the uncomfortable and difficult parts of pregnancy, no matter how hard you may try, but going through your pregnancy journey with a positive attitude, relaxed mind and body, and reasonable expectations will make this 9 month season of life go by a little easier.

Get to know your body

Each pregnancy is different and will evoke different changes in a woman’s body. Get to know your body with each pregnancy and pay attention to its signs. Oftentimes the discomforts associated with pregnancy are warning signs of different deficiencies. Whether you’re dehydrated, or low in another essential nutrient; your body will try to let you know.

Women may experience dizziness, fatigue, morning sickness, and many other discomforts when their body is trying to tell them they’re in need of something. Rather than just chalking these symptoms up to pregnancy being miserable, take action and figure out exactly what you’re body is looking for. Once you’re able to determine how to nourish your body, your pregnancy will become much more comfortable.

Make yourself comfortable

One of the easiest ways to enjoy your time being pregnant is to make yourself as comfortable as possible. There have been so many great products created to aid pregnant women in feeling comfortable, that finding a few that you find necessary won’t be difficult. Not all comfort measures have to be expensive and can be as simple as finding a great fitting pair of maternity yoga pants, or a maternity body pillow to assist with those nights spent tossing and turning.

The more comfortable you feel in your clothes, while you sleep, and during the other parts of your day, the more you’ll enjoy creating a tiny human life. Every pregnant woman has to deal with the constant bathroom breaks, stretching skin, and aching body, so do what you can to make yourself as comfortable as possible; you deserve it.

Stay healthy

It’s easy to succumb to the cravings and exhaustion, and completely throw your healthy lifestyle out the window, but this is a surefire way to make your pregnancy more difficult. Of course, you deserve dessert after a long day and shouldn’t deny yourself the milkshake you’ve been craving all week; but do these things in moderation.

Not only will keeping yourself at a healthy weight make you feel better, but it’ll make the birth and recovery process easier as well. Exercise is said to assist women in keeping their bodies ready for birth, and can even reduce the time spent in active labor. You may not be able to keep up with your competitive soccer team you played on prior to pregnancy, but maintaining a healthy diet and somewhat active lifestyle is important.

Pregnancy is something that we can’t avoid if we choose to have a family, no matter what or how we try; so it’s important to make the best of the beautiful process and try our hardest to enjoy every last minute of it.

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3 Inexpensive Ways to Help Your Kids Experience Art

Although art isn’t necessarily thought of as a must-have form of education at many public schools today, being exposed to arts and culture is a great way for your child to become more creative, confident and open-minded. While most parents agree that these are all characteristics they’d like to cultivate in their children, it’s commonly thought that truly experiencing art requires a lot of money.

However, just because this can be true doesn’t mean it’s always true. In fact, there are a lot of inexpensive ways you can teach your kids about art. To help you find out how, here are three inexpensive ways to help your kids experience art.

Create Your Own Arts and Crafts

An arts education doesn’t have to take place outside the home. Simply giving your children dedicated time to spend creating and being artistic can help them experience and learn to love art. Charlina Stewart, a contributor to, shares that all you have to do is provide some basic creative materials to help your child get the benefits of creating art. Some of these inexpensive materials can include markers, construction paper, shoe boxes, plastic water bottles, chalk and scissors. You’d be surprised how creative kids can be with very limited resources.

Think Beyond Traditional “Art”

While spending time creating their own pieces of art using craft supplies is a great use of their time, kids should also be made aware that this isn’t the only form of art they can experience. shares that by expanding our own definition of what qualifies as art, we can help our children expand their definitions as well, including things that cost us very little money as parents. Art can also include cooking and baking, interior design, photography, flower arranging, clothing construction and so much more. Consider helping your child find something they love that you’re willing to spend a small amount of money on to help them foster a love of art.

Visit Free Cultural Events

Participating in the creation of art is a great way to build an appreciation of art. However, that’s not to say that observing and experiencing other’s artistic talents isn’t a worthwhile endeavor. Luckily for many, communities around the world often hold free events where you can see and learn from other artists. Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, a contributor to the Huffington Post, suggests that parents visit any free cultural event in their area to expose their kids to various types of art, music, literature, food, dance and more.

If you’re willing to think creatively, you can come up with a plethora of ideas to help your kids learn about art and greater feel its influence in their lives. Use the tips mentioned above to help you save money while doing so.

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3 Money-Making Opportunities For Children or Teenagers

Even before children really understand what it takes to have a real job, their desire for things and experiences necessitates them to have some way to make money. As a parent, you can choose to simply give them money when they have a need or when they ask for something. However, you also have the option to help them learn about money and finance by teaching them how to earn their own income.

While your kids may feel like this is a much harder way to be able to afford the things they want, the life lessons they can learn by making their own money can help them well into their adult years. To help your children find ways to generate their own income, here are three ideas for money-making opportunities for children or teenagers.

Yard Work for Friends or Neighbors

Many children love playing outside and getting dirty. If this sounds like your kids, you can help them learn to take this passion and turn it into a way to make a few dollars.

Doing yard work for friends or neighbors generally requires very little experience as long as you’re willing to work hard. Madison DuPaix, a contributor to About Money, shares that some common yard work tasks your kids or teens could perform include clearing snow, pulling weeds, raking leaves and pruning gardens. As long as your kids can follow directions and work moderately independently, this could be a great option for them.

Babysitting or Pet Sitting

If your kids are a little bit older, babysitting or pet sitting is a great way to learn important life skills while also making money. states that when kids are preparing to start babysitting, they should seek out ways to let other parents know about their services and learn how to keep themselves and the children safe without supervision. These same principles work with pet sitting as well. So if your teenager has a soft spot in their heart for children or pets, opening a babysitting or pet sitting service could be a great money-making opportunity for them.

Farmer’s Market Vendor

Children who are especially artsy or interested in crafts and handiwork may want to look into getting involved with your local farmer’s market and selling products there. According to Melissa Griffiths, a contributor to, some of the most common homemade items that are sold at farmer’s markets include beauty products, baked goods, hand-crafted items, resale items and more. Not only could this be a great chance for your kids to make some spending money for themselves, but it could also be a way to help them find a hobby they enjoy.

Although most children and teenagers don’t need a lot of money, it’s nice for them to have a way to make a few dollars here and there to learn about the value of work and money management. If your child is wanting to earn some money, consider one of the ideas mentioned above to help them achieve their goals.

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How To Save Money With A New Baby On The Way

Even if you’re a first time parent, you probably already know that babies are expensive. You need a lot of things, and tons of diapers. So how does one afford all of that, plus all of those hospital bills?

Hopefully you have a good job and some money in savings. However, even if you don’t have a lot of money you can still find all of your needs by being smart about doing your shopping, and planning that baby shower!

Make Sure Your Registry Is Set Up

When it comes to having a baby, especially the first one, a party is definitely in order. Your baby showers is one great way to get many of the things that you need, so make sure you have a checklist of all the things you’re going to need when baby arrives, for setting up your baby registry.

Then you need to make sure that everyone knows about your registry and where you are registered. With any luck you’ll get all of the stuff you need from your registry and that will save you a lot of money.

Shop Around

Don’t try to buy everything you need at the first store you stop at. Shopping around for the best price can save you some money. You can save even more money by shopping online for deals.

Do some research to find out when you can get the best sales prices on things like baby monitors and strollers. Flip through sales ads, even online, to find out what stores have what and then map out your trip so that you can save on gas and time.

Try Out Thrift Stores And Yard Sales

You can find a lot of the items that you need for your baby by shopping used. While there are some things you can’t buy used, since babies grow out of things so fast, buying used can be a blessing when it comes to clothing anyway.

You can find really cheap baby clothes at thrift stores and yard sales, sometimes new or like new. If you have recently done any baby clothing shopping you know that buying new can be really pricey. Stock up on stuff for a few months worth of clothing, in various sizes, so that you don’t have to rush back out in a few weeks to replace clothing baby is quickly growing out of.

Your baby is already going to make you feel like you are going broke just with food and medical bills, why go into debt clothing them if you can find some good deals by shopping around, buying used, and making sure to cash in with a baby shower before you have them!

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3 Tips For Letting Your Teenager Have Their Own Car

teen driver

Once your child has reached the age where they can drive themselves, a whole new world is opened up to both of you. No longer do you have to chauffer them around, and they also get a new found sense of freedom with their own set of wheels. However, although convenience has improved, it can often be financially hard on families to have a teenager with their own car. To help make this transition easier, here are three tips for letting your teenager have their own vehicle while remaining financially and physically safe.

Create a Driving Contract

Having a car is a privilege, not a right. To help your child understand this, recommends for parents to create a driving contract with their teen. Your contract should state what is to be expected both with regards to the vehicle itself and your teen’s driving habits.

Some of the stipulations of the contract can include who’s responsible for paying for gas and other necessary vehicle maintenance, rules for cell phone use while in the vehicle, curfew and speed limit regulations and much more. By having this contact up front, you can avoid running into issues that may create a rift between you and your teen or you and your wallet.

Getting the Right Car

Choosing the right car for your teen is going to make their driving experience much more pleasant for you. While they might want something small and sleek, this may not be the best option both for safety and finances.

According to Rick Newman, a contributor to, the bigger the car is, the safer your teen will be in it. Because teens are more likely to have small accidents, you want to make sure they have the safest car possible and that you haven’t spent an obscene amount of money on a vehicle that won’t retain its resale value well. For these reasons, it’s smart to purchase a safe and reliable used car for your teen to give them the best shot at having a positive driving experience in their first few years of practice.

Keeping Insurance Rates Low

Insuring a teen driver can get expensive because of the risk involved with covering this demographic. However, there are things you can do to minimize the impact your teen driver has on your bank account.

Susan Ladika, a contributor to, shares that both the type of vehicle and the student record of your teen driver can have a big impact on the amount you’re charged for insurance coverage. Larger, older vehicles will help keep your premiums lower, as will having your teen get good grades and maintain a clean driving record. Make these items priorities to keep your teen’s insurance costs low.

Helping your child make smart decisions regarding getting and maintaining a car will help them feel your trust and better prepare them for life outside your home. Use the tips mentioned above to give them the best chance at success while also having minimal financial burdens.

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Three Tips For Helping Your Kids Keep Their Minds And Bodies Healthy


Children, no matter what age they are, learn greatly from their parents, so if you are leading a bad example by living an unhealthy lifestyle, your children are also learning and picking up your bad habits. Teaching them the right ways to live healthy will help them live longer and happier lives.

There are a lot of things that go into living a healthy lifestyle. It’s more than just about what you eat and getting some physical fitness. It’s about how you take care of yourself in general, both body and mind.

Teach Them The Importance Of Diet And Fitness

Even though eating right and getting exercise aren’t the only things you need to be teaching your children about living a healthier life, they are very important and high on the list. Diet is important because what you eat affects your whole body.

Children, especially, need to get the right vitamins and minerals to grow up strong and healthy and avoid illnesses and vitamin deficiencies. Teach them about healthy snacking, and show them what good choices are for healthy meats and dairy choices. You can include older kids in the shopping, preparing, and cooking of healthy meals as well.

Back before iPods and Smartphones, kids spent a lot more time outside playing. Now it’s fairly common for them to get a lot less physical activity than you probably did when you were their age. Encourage them to get outside by having them jog with you, or playing other physical games with them to get them moving.

Teach Them Coping Skills For Stress And More

Stress isn’t just something that adults suffer from. Kids can get stressed out too, from school or issues with their peers. The older they get, the more stress they will likely endure.

That is why it is important to teach them early on how to deal with stress and how to cope with things like anxiety and depression. Teach them breathing exercises, have them join you in yoga or meditation, and have them count to ten when they are getting made. They learn to calm their own mental outbursts and this can help them greatly later in life when the stress just gets even worse.

Always Be There For Them And Lead By Example

Make sure that your kids know they can come to you with anything. If they are feeling stressed about a test or anxious about a school bully, they need you to be there for them, but if you don’t tell them you are they may think it’s something better taken to a school friend that doesn’t yet know the answers either.

Other good examples to set are not smoking and only drinking in moderation. Some studies have shown that children of smokers and drinkers tend to follow in their parents bad habits. If you are a smoker, quit now.

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