Roughly 50 to 70 million adults in the United States struggle with a sleeping disorder.
It is not surprising if this number causes you concern because it is likely that you or someone you know, has an issue sleeping each night.
Busy days, sleepless nights, sweet little eyes watching your every move, sweet little brain absorbing everything around them. These are the hallmark aspects of a brand new baby.
Are you expecting? Congratulations! Whether you’re growing it inside you or adopting, becoming a new parent or adding another to your brood is a big lifestyle shift.
Your life and your finances are about to change drastically. Are you worried about spending and saving appropriately and effectively? Read on to learn the six best budget tips for your upcoming bundle of joy.
Ever heard of the 50/30/20 rule? If you’re totally new to budgeting, maybe you haven’t. This isn’t necessarily just a “new baby” budgeting rule, it’s a general life budgeting rule.
With this rule, you split your income as follows: 50% to financial needs like groceries and mortgage or rent, 30% to financial wants like a new kitchen table or eating out, and 20% to savings (and payment on bad debt like credit card debt).
This rule doesn’t change once you add a baby to your family! The baby’s needs and wants fit into the same categories. For example, diapers and formula are financial needs. That adorable little summer dress and hat ensemble is a financial want.
Don’t think that everything has to change once you have your baby. Basic budgeting rules still apply.
If you’re expecting a baby, you’ve definitely been looking at nursery pictures on Pinterest. It’s okay, everyone does it.
But be wary not to get sucked into the “beautiful nursery” lie! Just because a room is decorated beautifully (and then named “the nursery”) doesn’t mean it’s effective and practical as a nursery.
One important way you can save money while expecting is to not go overboard with the nursery. Read other parents’ experiences with what you truly do and don’t need, you might be surprised!
If you do need it, don’t be afraid to budget for it. If you don’t need it, you can gladly budget that money for something else. Your experience with the nursery doesn’t have to be all trial and error if you’re willing to heed other people’s experience.
Don’t hesitate to seek out tips and ideas for your nursery design. It can be smart, effective, practical, and beautiful. Be inspired by other people’s ideas and experience.
If it’s been just you or just you and your partner, you’ve most likely been making some unconscious exceptions in your finances. Maybe you have three cars but only need two, but you haven’t bothered getting rid of the third because you’ve been able to afford it.
Now is the time to consolidate those three cars into two. Just because you could squeak by affording it before, doesn’t mean you can now. That expense can make a huge difference once you have the baby.
Been holding out for that raise? Now is the time to finally ask for it! You’re going to need it more than ever.
Thought about refinancing but never gotten around to it? Now is definitely the time to pull that trigger. Refinancing your mortgage and insurance can greatly impact your finances month-to-month.
Babies grow quickly, so their needs change quickly. That means your expenses also rapidly change. Anticipate that fact and don’t invest too much in any one stage.
If you spend too much on newborn clothes, you won’t have enough money just three short months later when the baby needs bigger clothes. Buy secondhand, inherit clothes from older babies of friends and family, and don’t be afraid to let your baby repeat outfits.
They don’t need a celebrity baby’s wardrobe, babies look cute in just a white onesie! Take advantage of that!
This rule applies to everything baby-related, not just clothes. If you’re only planning on having one child, try a crib that converts into a toddler bed (if you’ll have more kids then you can save money by reusing a normal crib).
There are plenty of things you can buy for the baby now, before he or she is even here. This will alleviate some financial strain after the baby comes, when you’re also paying hospital bills.
Keep an eye out for sales and buy things slowly, as you can! A pack or two of wipes here, bottles there, especially all sizes of diapers. Some things you won’t know you need until after the baby comes, but many things you know now (like wipes, bottles, and diapers).
You have nine months to prepare, so take advantage of it! Your budget for post-baby will be freed up because you have some supplies you’ve collected over previous months.
Figure out your 50/30/20, including your baby-related finances. Fully commit to it with yourself or with your partner. Then practice it for a month or two before the baby comes.
This experiment will show you where your budget is weak and where it’s strong. You’ll learn what you need to change and improve, all before you actually have the baby, so there’s nothing to lose!
The practice time also gives you a few weeks to get used to your new budget. This will help you feel more acclimated and less stressed when you have your baby: lots of things may be brand new, but at least you’ve been living this budget for a little while.
In order for your new budget (and practicing it beforehand) to be successful, you and your partner have to be fully on board. This practice time will also show you in what ways you two still need to get on the same page.
So you’re about to welcome a new baby. What a wonderful time in your life! Don’t let the fear of change or the unknown take away from your newfound happiness.
These six tips will help you keep your finances in order, even with your adorable new addition. A baby doesn’t have to break the bank, all it takes is preparation and discipline. Check out our other articles about babies and parenting!
Approximately half (48.2 percent precisely) of the residents in the five biggest cities in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home. This number is on the rise, which is why it makes sense to begin teaching your child a foreign language now.
By investing in this education, you can ensure your child can speak to others, regardless of their language. The good news is, due to the influx of people who speak a language besides English, several innovative and fun apps can be used to teach your kids this second language.
If you are ready to get started, learn about the top apps here.
This is the second installment of the popular language learning app. When using the app, children can play and learn. There are lessons and games based on favorite stories, such as The Three Little Pigs, making the experience fun and engaging.
With the stories, kids can begin to learn Spanish vocabulary and grammar skills. While the lessons may not be up to the level of a Spanish school in Costa Rica, they are still effective.
This app is an interactive, language-learning experience that’s free to download in iOS devices. This app allows young learners to practice and understand nouns in several contexts. There are eight foreign languages to choose from.
The best part about this app is that your child doesn’t need any prior knowledge to begin learning. The app uses compelling activities that are fun and will encourage your child to keep playing.
Using Duolingo allows kids to learn several languages from French and Spanish to Vietnamese and Russian. When using the app, a child will earn points for getting correct answers and work against the clock to reach a new level.
The lessons are all broken down into small, yet extremely effective, lessons. This app is available on the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store.
This app is specifically designed to introduce your child to learning the everyday vocabulary of a new language. There are no in-app purchases or third-party ads to worry about. It’s great for children two years of age and up.
Based on a collection of learning videos that focuses on helping teach children the essential building blocks of a new language. This is a series of apps that track your child’s progress and reinforce and support everything taught.
As you can see, there are more than a few educational apps you can use to help teach your kids a new language. Try one or try them all to see what works best for your child.
To learn more about enriching your child’s life and helping them get ahead, visit often. New and updated information is posted all the time.
Keeping healthy is so important to our well-being and our wallets. With some of us working non-stop from morning until night and the ease of convenience foods, we can find that our healthy habits take a backseat to all our other engagements. Unfortunately, we need to learn to put our health first and we live in a society that expects us to give our all, all the time. If you are like me, it just helps to be reminded throughout the day to make sure I am doing something towards my health. I want to share with you my favorite health apps that shoot me a reminder to take care of me. Hopefully, you will find one in this list that can be helpful for you as well.
Maybe you’re vying for a spot in the top BBQ competition in Memphis, Tennessee, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Or maybe you want to oust the 2019 Grand Champion, “Cool Smoke,” or the first place winner in the Kingsford Tour of Champions category, “Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q,” or “Nutt’s N Butts” in the Ribs category.
Or maybe you just want to rock everyone’s world in your backyard when you grill up dinner.
Whatever your mad grill master skills at smokin’ up good eats and whatever your grilling competition goals, you’ll definitely want to use the best smoker pellets possible to give you that extra edge and flavor for success.
But what are the best cooking pellets for your smoker to get the best taste, you wonder?
Well, wonder no more because we’ve put together some tips on picking the best smoker pellets. Keep reading to learn how to find top quality pellets that give you what you want in taste. Then, it’s your turn to start experimenting on your road to grill and smoke master perfection. Yum!
You pull out all the stops with your mad grill and smoke skills. You make sure you have the best pellet smoker around. So naturally, you want the best smoking pellets you can get.
In finding your ideal pellets, you want to look primarily at two things: quality and flavor. Let’s take a quick look at these so you know how to pick the best pellets for you.
There is a difference in quality between smoke pellet brands. Three things that determine quality are composition, ash buildup, and burn rate.
Smoke pellets are basically capsules of compressed wood. Some are hardwood and others softwood. Which is better? You’ll need to decide for yourself.
Hardwood gives you more stable burn rates, which may provide a more pure flavor, while softwood gives you more heat.
The highest quality pellets are pure flavored wood. Some pellets have filler wood to reduce cost. Filler wood is wood that has little to no flavor so can’t contribute to smoking your grill in a flavorful way. The filler is often oak or alder.
The top quality is 100 percent flavored wood, like pecan, maple, or cherry. The wood gives the flavor. Next in quality is blended wood, which is often 70 to 80 percent oak or alder and 20 to 30 percent flavored wood.
Last in quality is pure filler wood, like oak. These are heating pellets generally meant for heaters to heat your home making them not so deliciously smokey.
Also, you want the pellets to be well compacted, otherwise they fall apart in the smoker and that lowers the burn time. If there is a lot of dust in the bag when you open it, the pellets are usually not compressed well and they’re of lower quality unless they were jostled too much in shipping.
The best pellets burn and leave no ash. The more bark pellets have, the more ash they produce. You want pellets with the least amount of bark. These are the highest quality. The only way to check this is to burn them alone and see if there is ash residue, indicating bark.
The flavor should come from the wood, not any oil with added flavor. To pick the best smoker pellets for what you’re smoking, try out the different types of woods. And have fun with it!
Here are some suggestions, but if you want to start with some favorites, go with cherry, apple, pecan, hickory and mesquite.
Suggestions for type of grill:
Making steak, burgers, brisket, or another type of beef? Try hickory, mesquite, or pecan for your best smoke pellet flavor.
Making chicken or salmon? Try apple, cherry, or pecan.
Making pork? Try all of them — apple, cherry, mesquite, pecan, and hickory.
Making turkey? Try apple, cherry, or mesquite.
Making veggies? Try hickory or mesquite.
Now that you have a list of some of the best smoker pellets out there, you can give them a go and know some good-tastin’ BBQ will be happening on your pellet smoker.
While you’re out there makin’ grill magic and patiently waiting for your grill to finish, you can peruse our blog for other fabulous tips on everything from family meals to finance. Be sure to check the archives!
There are going to be moments where you are somewhere, and the toddler is in a particularly horrible mood. You will think “I just want to hand them my phone so they will be quiet” and you know it will work. Then you are inundated with those “I am a bad parent” feelings and you don’t know what to do. While we all know that too much screen time can be bad for kids, we also know that sometimes it’s about your sanity. Fortunately, there are ways to combat those feelings by ensuring you provide an educational app so that Cranky Toddler is learning rather than being sucked into some mindlessness. Here are some top picks on free kids apps (without hidden in-app purchases) that are good for your kids.
Are you putting off developing a system to keep track of your money?
You aren’t alone. 61% of US adults don’t stay on top of their finances.
If you are looking for a way to change that and learn how finance keeping can help your life, then you’ve come to the right place. This post will show you how to accomplish that.
Keep reading to learn the tricks to tracking and managing your finances.
If you’re like a lot of people, you probably spend a little bit of money here and there. It doesn’t cost much, so what’s the worst that could happen?
Those little purchases add up. If you don’t keep track of them, you could end up spending far more than you intended and get yourself in trouble.
Go through your bank statements to find all the little things on there and see if you can cut back.
One of the first steps to organizing your finances is to categorize all of your expenses.
When you do this, you will get an overview of everything necessary and everything that isn’t. This overview gives you an excellent view to see areas where you can cut spending.
Separate your credit card debt, utilities, food, travel, and entertainment. You can break these down further as needed, but this will provide you a solid base.
Everywhere you look today there is debt. You have it from student loans, cars, mortgages, credit cards and a host of other sources.
Did you know that you can consolidate your debt and reduce your total payments? Not only that, but you are minimizing the payments you need to make. This consolidation makes things less complicated and helps ensure that you don’t accidentally miss a payment.
This applies to credit cards too. The credit cards for excellent credit you received should be paid off as soon as possible.
There are a lot of apps available today that can help you with tracking your money. You don’t have to balance everything in a checkbook anymore.
Software like Wave, Mint, and Quickbooks will import your financial statements from all of your accounts and put them in one place. This gives you one overview of everything and allows you to make a plan without switching between several different sources.
After you have everything sorted and available, it’s time to make your budget. When starting this process ask yourself the following questions:
Answering these questions is an excellent start in figuring out how you should spend every month. Once you have the necessities in place, you can figure out how to save and invest for the future.
Finance keeping can seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be. By making a plan, you can reduce the time it takes and saves more of your money.
Are you looking to use some of your savings for investments? Click here to learn about markets that are worth looking into.
Did you know the global tea market could reach 49,456.52 million by 2024? People all over the world love to celebrate with a hot cup of tea.
Are you looking to host a tea party birthday for your daughter but not sure where to begin? Not to worry! In this guide, we’ll go over some tea party ideas for kids.
Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out.
A tea party is a wonderful option for your daughter’s upcoming birthday. Your guests can play games, eat snacks, and drink from teacups. Check out these tips for more ideas.
Consider the theme of your tea party. You could have a princess tea party and feature fairies and princesses.
Once you know your theme, select a date, and order invitations that match your theme. Most tea parties tend to start at around 3 pm. If you want a luncheon tea party, have it start at 11 am.
When the guests arrive, you want to warm them up a bit with fun activities. Prepare these ahead of time.
For example, kids love to make their own jewelry. Pick up some bracelet or necklace activity sets. The guests can wear their pieces or take them home.
Set up a table with tea party coloring pages along with crayons and markers. For those who arrive early, they can have fun coloring the pages until everyone shows up.
Let the guests make their own fancy fans. You’ll need stickers, tape, glitter, markers, and colored paper.
The kids can draw pictures on both sides of the paper. Have them fold the paper like an accordion and fasten an end with tape to create the handle.
For a unique and fun activity, bake a rectangle cake, and cut it into squares. Allow each guest to decorate their square with colorful icing and edible decorations. Place all the squares back together to make a cake quilt.
Tea party menus consist of scones with jam, dainty sandwiches, and a selection of pastries. For children, you might want to select something simpler.
You could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or cream cheese with strawberries. For fun, cut your sandwiches with cookie cutters.
Make a bowl of fresh fruit salad. Make your daughter’s favorite cookies or pick up mini cupcakes from the local bakery.
If your guests are too young for tea, why not serve them apple juice, milk, or lemonade? They will have fun drinking from the teacups. If they are a little older, check out the World Tea Directory to find the perfect blend of tea.
Cover your table with a bright tablecloth and add flowers as centerpieces. Pick up some colorful paper napkins. Now to the most important part: teacups.
If you don’t have a selection at home, not to worry. You can find floral or decorative tea cups at your local thrift store.
For every guest, set aside a bread plate, teacup, and saucer. Leave room on the table for the teapot.
Consider placing one in the center. If you have a lot of guests, set a couple of them on the table. Add lace doilies or mini framed place cards.
To create a classy atmosphere, pick up some extra items from your local craft store or party shop. Twist together colorful streamers and drape them from the ceiling or outline windows.
Pick up some pastel colored balloons. Fill them with helium and create bunches of bouquets to display around the room.
For fun, you could fill an extra teapot with flowers and use it as a focal point. Chalkboard signs are fun and an excellent way to announce your daughter’s birthday.
There are lots of fun party games to play at a tea party. If you choose a princess-themed tea party, your guests can create their own tiaras. Have a table set up with rhinestones, stickers, glitter, glue, and ribbons.
If you want to choose a fairy themed tea party, your guests can create their own fairy wand with a wooden dowel.
You could have a dress-up station with a mirror and a trunk of clothes. Make sure you have a box of fun hats and costume jewelry for your guests to try.
Consider making paper teacups for a treasure hunt. This game of treasure hunt will get the party guests up and moving around. Hide the paper tea cups all around the house or the yard if the weather is fine.
Another fun game is the tea bag toss. If you have some cheaper tea on hand and old teapots, you’re set. Give a point value for the teapots, based on the size of the opening.
If it has a smaller opening, make the point value higher. Place a line for the kids to stand behind. Have the guests toss the tea bags, aiming for the pots. For this game, pick up some old china teapots at your local thrift store.
At any party, you’ll want to hand out favors. For your daughter’s tea party, think about the theme of the party and go from there. Let your guests take home their homemade wand or princess tiara.
If you have lots of teacups, let your guests take their cups as a reminder of the fun celebration.
We hope you found this article on hosting a tea party birthday helpful. Take time to choose your theme and have fun.
For more information, bookmark our site for easy access to all our resources.
Clothing swaps are becoming a big trend right now and it really is one great way to modify your closet and save money. If you are unclear of how one works, a group gathers together and brings clothes and accessories they are looking to get rid of. They literally swap clothes and anything that is not claimed can either go home with the original owners or be donated to a local thrift store (this is the most popular option). While some circles focus on clothing swaps for children, we are seeing more people do it for adult clothing as well. Here are some ways you can start a clothing swap and part ways with clothes you just aren’t wearing.
If your child loves to play with their hands, a craft party is the best way to celebrate your budding artist’s birthday.
Not only can it keep party guests engaged, but it’s also a low-cost alternative to an expensive birthday party. You can either focus on making just one single craft or treat your attendees to a wide variety of arts and crafts projects they can choose from.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or you already have an idea for the main activities, these birthday crafts can help you make the event feel complete.