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Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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As a loving and devoted mom, it goes without saying that you want your kids to be as safe as possible, 24/7/365. But as they begin doing more activities on their own, with less supervision from you, you’re left feeling like you are constantly walking on a tightrope. You’re balancing your kids’ budding independence with your desire to make sure they are okay.

A classic example of this tightrope act is when your kids are on the internet. While you understand that they need and want to go online to research school assignments, to watch videos on YouTube, shows on Netflix and play online games, you also know there are many dangers that can pop up when surfing the web.

In order to be sure your kids stay as safe as possible when they are online, teach them the following habits:

Be Very Careful When Purchasing a Game or Add-Ons

Many video games can be purchased online and then played on either a computer, handheld device or on a game system. Although there are plenty of reputable sites like Steam that sell games, there could be fake websites that claim to offer games but really just want to get a hold of your account info.

To avoid having your credit card number fall into cybercriminals’ hands, let your kids know that you have to approve all online game purchases and in-game add-ons. It is not enough for them to call out “Hey Mom, I need to borrow your debit card to buy a game for $10 and I’ll pay you back out of my allowance.” Have your tweens show you the game they want to buy and make sure it is from a reputable site; while you are at it, teach them that if they see a pop-up ad about buying a game, they should avoid these offers like the plague.

You should also keep a sharp eye on your bank and credit card statements and watch for charges that you don’t recognize. As a backup, it’s wise to invest in an ID theft protection plan. This way, if your kids accidentally purchase a game from a bogus site, you will be immediately alerted about any fraudulent activity on your account.

Never Reveal Personal Information Online

Internet access comes with a number of risks including online predators. These creeps are well aware of which apps and websites tweens and teens like to use, and may pose as a peer who is lonely and looking for new friends. To help your kids avoid these unsavory individuals, tell them that not everyone they encounter online is who they claim to be, and that sharing any type of personal information like your address, their phone number or what school they go to is strictly forbidden. You can also look into getting parental control software like Qustodio that can block access to certain sites and show you who your kiddos are communicating with online.

Teach Them to Post Only What They Would Want Grandma to See

As your kids get older and start using social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat, they may be encouraged by the enthusiastic responses they get to the photos of your family dog to post and share more and more pics and info. Sit down with your kids and show them how easily you can find information about total strangers on a social media site, either by following people you don’t know on Instagram or checking out random pages on Facebook. Make it a rule that your teens must keep their social media pages private and to be very careful about what they post. Despite vigilance, it is still possible for your kids’ pics and posts to get into the wrong hands, according to experts at GCFGlobal. Advise them that they should only put something online that they would be proud for their Grandma to see.

Don’t Worry Mom, You’ve Got This

Hopefully, all of your kids’ experiences online will be positive. But it’s also important to teach them about the risks without completely scaring them. With a solid combo of some firm rules about internet use, combined with an identity theft program and some parental controls, you can feel better about your kids being online and their safety.

 

 

 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

 

100. Cut Out Haircuts
Now, we don’t want to go crazy here and have everyone running around with long shaggy hair, but it is possible to cut out expensive haircuts. You can, of course, choose to grow your hair out. Or you can purchase an inexpensive haircutting kit (such as this one on Amazon) and do cropped haircuts (both my son and husband allow me to cut their hair this way).

 

101. Reuse Old Stuff
In the end, one of the simplest ways to save money is to not buy new stuff. Find creative and useful ways to reuse what you already have. For instance, create tennis racket mirrors, candy themed pouches and even trash can tables.

 

Read the entire series here!

 

101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

97. Go Natural
Consider planting a garden to save on the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. It can be as simple as a garden box with tomato plants or as big and full as you can fit in your yard! Do some research on what grows well in your geographical area and what time of year to plant different items and then get to digging.

 

98. Create a Price Book
Know a good deal when you see one by creating a price book. “A price book is simply a list-a list of items that you normally buy, and what their lowest prices are at the stores you typically shop at. With this list, when you happen upon a possible “deal”, you will be able to quickly and simply tell if it will actually save you money.” Read more about how to create a price book here.

 

99. Washable Wins
Napkins, diapers and other disposable items can easily be replaced by washable cloth versions to save money. To reduce costs even further, create your own reusable napkins and diapers from inexpensive cloth or items you already have at home.

 

Read the entire series here!

 

101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

94. Snack in Bulk
While they are convenient, buying the snack-size bags of crackers and cookies is often much more expensive. Instead, buy snacks in bulk and divide up into snack size portions and put in individual baggies for easy snacking.

 

95. Go Old School
While modern conveniences seem like the only way to things at times, there are tried-and-true (usually cheaper) ways to do things. For instance, consider line-dry clothing instead of using the dryer. Install a line in your laundry room or even hang them outside if the weather permits.

 

96. Trash It
Consider recycling or composting to save money on trash service. Or, if you have a pick-up or trailer, you could even haul your own trash to the dump instead of paying for someone else to do it.

 

Read the entire series here!

 

101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

91. Use Cash only
Studies show that people who shop using cash only – no credit or debit cards – spend less overall. The next time you grocery shop, try setting a budget and pulling that amount of cash out to use. See if you can spend only what you have – or less!

 

92. Avoid Gimmick Pricing
Stores work hard to be clever and their pricing games are one way that they try to entice you to buy more than you need. If your local supermarket has a “10 for $10” campaign, know that you don’t normally need to buy 10 products to get their sale price.

 

93. Party at Home
I know the trend is to have kids’ birthday parties at fun places like the theater, roller skating rink or local gymnastics training center, but consider having birthday parties at home instead – even if it’s just every

 

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Read the entire series here!

 

May
08

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #88, 89 & 90

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101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

88. Carpool, Bike or Walk
If you are able, consider biking to work or to the store. Or, if possible, carpool with others when heading to work, church or even the grocery store. Taking the kids to the park? Walk instead of driving.

 

89. Know When To Go
Going to the movies can be expensive, so find out when your local theaters offers matinee pricing and opt to go during those hours. It may not seem like a huge savings at the time, but every dollar ads up.

 

90. Cancel Your Plans
That gym membership you pay for, but don’t use … cancel it. That online movie plan that you forgot you had – cancel it. Find ways that your budget may be leaking money and cut those things out.

 

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May
06

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #85, 86 & 87

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101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

85. Make Your Own
We see more and more DIY ideas, so why don’t we put some of them into practice. For us work-at-homers, here’s a great article on 10 Ways to Make a Cheap Standing Desk – http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-workplace-10-ways-to-make-a-cheap-standing-desk

86. Pay Online
Cut out the cost of stamps and checks by paying online. Most bills can now be paid online through the store or company’s website or through your local bank’s website. In fact, in many churches you can even tithe online.

87. Price Match
“Price Match wherever you can! There are a number of stores that price match, and I’m not just talking groceries! Go price match crazy with movies, clothes, housewares, electronics, music, video games, and food!! Gas and time count for something too and the fewer places I have to go to get the deals I want, the better!”

– Anne Bennett
www.momsdrivenfromwithin.com

 

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Read the entire series here!

 

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May
03

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #82, 83 & 84

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101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

82. Save Money on Homeschool Supplies
If you’re a homeschooling parent, here is an article with great ideas and tips for saving a few dollars on supplies: 5 Ways To Save on Homeschooling

83. Raise Deductibles
Consider increasing home and auto insurance deductibles and you could save upwards of 25% on your policy.

84. Be Prepared
“Use Transaction Envelopes! I swear by these! If there is one or more complex coupon transactions (i.e. I will be stacking coupons and/or using “store points” like at Walgreens) I like to write out the list of items, less coupons and “point” value on the front of an envelope right down to my tax and total, so I know exactly how much I’ll be paying out of pocket for each transaction. I then put the coupons for the transaction in the envelope! It save me time and makes me feel less frazzled at the register! This also helps me to stick to my list of what I am getting. If there is a great deal that I just can’t pass up, I pencil it in on my envelope. (Even if my tax amount is a little off, I have a pretty good idea of my total.)”

– Anne Bennett
www.momsdrivenfromwithin.com

 

Do you have a money saving idea that you’d like to see featured in this CWAHM series?
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Read the entire series here!

 

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May
01

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #79, 80 & 81

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101 Ways to Help Your Budget and You at Home

79. Save Money At Amazon
I came across this great article a few days ago full of tips on saving money on Amazon. If you’re like me and do quite a bit of shopping via Amazon, there are lots of helpful tips: 16 Secrets to Saving Money At Amazon.com

80. Don’t Throw Away Your Weekly Shopper
“Use the coupons inside of your weekly shopper! These are delivered (via mail or newspaper delivery depending on where you live) for FREE so everyone that you use saves you money with no cost to you!”

– Anne Bennett
www.momsdrivenfromwithin.com

81. Know When To Shop
There are certain months that you can get great deals on specific items and so knowing when to shop can save you lots of money. For instance, many airlines offer great deals in January; March brings many sales in sports stores eager to empty their shelves to get ready for the summer sports boom; and August is the best time to buy swimwear.

 

Do you have a money saving idea that you’d like to see featured in this CWAHM series?
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Read the entire series here!

 

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May
01

The Inner Parent Voice

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Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerPrepare to be metaphysical!

Sometimes adults will come in for marriage counseling or to work on an individual issue.  I’ll quickly figure out that their ‘backstory’ includes some really horrible or absent parents; and as a result, they have some . . . ‘issues.’  I’ve had guys come in with low self-esteem, and women come in with fears and anxiety, and husbands that don’t know how to treat ladies and ladies that have no confidence – or any variation of such.

Many times part of the solution is to develop that inner parenting voice.   That voice to parent themselves in the attributes they missed growing up.

Now here’s where I throw in the metaphysical:

In session I’ll ask people to imagine:

Imagine that we are going to adopt a kid and raise it to have great self-esteem.  What will you do so that this imaginary kid will have great self-esteem?  How can you get your spouse (if applicable) to help you?

So, then the person starts brainstorming on how to help this little fictional kid develop self-esteem.    Then, of course I turn around all those great ideas as something the person can do to themselves to develop great self-esteem.

The idea is that all of us have a little child version of ourselves inside us.  Many times it’s what gives us our passion and motivation.  This little person, this younger version of you, sometimes needs some inner parenting talk.

If I had a kid that needed some encouragement, I’d start out telling them how important they are to God – that if you were the ONLY person left on Earth, Jesus would still die for you.  That God considered each of us, and planned our whole lives before we were even born.  That we are “Fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

Then I’d tell them how much they mean to me, and how their identity isn’t based on success, but that they have learned a lot in life and the only failure is when you quit trying.

I’d point out their successes and how they’ve learned from their failures, and that the failures are never that bad.

. . .  and that’s all great stuff that our inner selves need to hear too.

Not just that, but I’d do some things for any fictional child that needed encouragement.  I’d send them to bed a little early one night so that they catch up on sleep when they were sleep deprived.  I’d limit their use of electronics to give their mind and their eyes a break.  I’d take that kid out for a walk outside in nature so that they could clear their head.   I’d play their favorite music, I’d lay out their special underwear, and I’d buy them a drink at the local gas station.

. . . and that’s all great stuff that our inner selves need to experience also.

If I were skeptical . . . and I actually am quite skeptical; I’d wonder how an adult is supposed to come up with a great inner parent voice when they’ve had horrible parents growing up.  That is a good question. Read More→

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