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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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Archive for CWAHM Blogs

May
24

Lazy Does Have Its Advantages

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerAs a young boy, my father tried drilling into my brain that laziness was not acceptable in his house. If I wanted to be lazy, I had to go outside. He provided a wonderful role model for me because if my father was anything, he was not lazy. He tried to encourage me not to be lazy.

Laziness, according to him, was an attack on common decency and energy. After all these years, I have tried to live up to his standard. And yet, I must confess that I have found that laziness may have an advantage or two. I’m leaning towards the two.

It was my fortune to marry a young lady who did not have an inkling of laziness in any of her bones. I thought when I first married her; she was trying to impress me with how active she was and how much she could get done. I have discovered, however, that that certainly was not the case. Laziness and she have never met as far as I understand it.

I have tried not to be lazy and to a certain extent, I have succeeded. However, as I get older I begin to appreciate the opportunity of laziness. It does not have the bad connotation I was taught down through the years.

Everything has its good side and its bad side. The great joy of life is trying to find the good side in everything. This includes laziness. Anybody can point out the bad side to laziness, but it takes a genius to discover the good side of laziness. I am not pretending to be that genius, but I can say that I have discovered a good side to laziness.

The good side of laziness occurred to me recently. My wife loves to put together “Honey-Do-Lists” for her husband. That would be me, of course.

Let me say that just because it’s called a “Honey-Do-Lists” does not mean that there is any sweetness to it. In fact, from my own personal experience I have yet to find any sweetness in that activity. I call it an activity because I am supposed to actively do everything on that list.

It was a Monday morning and as usual, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage handed to me her weekly “Honey-Do-List.” As usual, the list was quite long and in great detail.

“Make sure,” she said rather seriously, “that you do everything on that list as soon as possible.”

One of the things I have often wanted to ask my wife is what is her meaning of “as soon as possible”? It seems that I have not the faintest idea of what it really means. As a well-seasoned husband, I smile most graciously as she hands me that list and say, “Yes, dear.” Her list comes as close to a novel as anything she does.

It takes several days for me to read that list and try to understand what I am supposed to do with it. But, with my experience, I do the best I can and there have been several times, not many, that I have finished her list to the last point.

It was about Thursday when I was going over the list and saw several things that had not been checked off. I sighed very deeply, and with determination planned to get back in the saddle again. I find it very hard to juggle what I want to do with her “Honey-Do-List.” It is always a struggle because I know I have to do her list, but in my mind, I really want to do my list.

I was drinking some coffee and looking over this list to see what my next assignment was. At that time, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came into the room and said, “Did you do the 12th item on my list?”

At the time, I was a little startled because I did not know what she was getting at. I did not know if this was a quiz or if I was being evaluated by my work. I was a little concerned because there were some little nuggets of lazy that had peppered my week up to this point.

Looking at her I said, “No, I haven’t got to number 12 yet. I’m still working on number 10.”

She sighed such a deep sigh of relief that it frightened me a little. I was afraid if I said I had not accomplished number 12 I would be in serious trouble. After all, it was on the list and I was supposed to do everything on the list.

“I’m so glad you didn’t do that. It was my mistake and I would’ve been in serious trouble had you done it.” Read More→

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May
20

3 Crucial Online Safety Habits to Teach Your Kids

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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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May
17

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #100 & 101

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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!

 

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May
15

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #97, 98 & 99

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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!

 

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May
13

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #94, 95 & 96

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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!

 

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May
10

101 Tips to Help Your Budget (and YOU) at Home – #91, 92 & 93

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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!

 

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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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Read the entire series here!

 

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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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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.

 

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Read the entire series here!

 

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