Category Archives: Motherhood

Q&A About Me

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Recently I shared this Budget Q&A video where I talked about how much we spend on groceries each month, do we meal plan for every night and how much we spend on eating out in a month (plus more!).  However, I started thinking that I haven’t really shared a lot about me… who I am, why I love budgeting so much and my passion behind living a debt free life.

Well have no fear! I finally put together a quick Q&A all about me.  I know I’m not much different than you – I’m a mom who would do anything for her son to succeed.  I work hard every single day helping clients with their money goals.  So take a look and find out a little bit more about who I am.

 

Easy Hair Ideas for Moms

Affiliate Disclosure: please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. 

easy hair ideas for mom, hair for mom, easy hair styles, meredith rines, merelynne

How do you wear your hair most days?  I have a few tried-and-true methods that I rotate through.  I like changing up my look for work.  I think it’s a little something extra I can do when it comes to my appearance for client appointments.  To me, hair is an extension of the day’s outfit so I like to make sure it looks somewhat presentable. Plus, I was never one to shy away from a bold hair look.  Even though I probably should have had a professional’s opinion on some of my looks back in high school, but that’s for another post!  

For me, I’m all about ease and speed.  I don’t want to spend too long in the bathroom getting ready in the morning.  I only have so much time before our little one wakes up and then it’s time for a quick breakfast before running out the door.  Here are my go to hair ideas for moms:

Messy Bun

easy mom hair, easy hairstyles, hair for busy moms

Most days, my hair is in a messy bun like so.  I found this great video tutorial on how to do the perfect messy bun.  I’m lucky that my hair is long enough that I only require two hair ties and about two bobby pins.

Down and natural

easy mom hair, easy hairstyles, hair for busy moms

Before my son was born I had perfectly straight hair.  No need to ever straighten it!  Like ever.  Then with all the pregnancy hormones running through my body, my hair decided to revolt. Now it’s wavy in the front and curly (like whoa!) in the back.  If my hair is down this is how I wear it 9 times out of 10.  It’s very little maintenance, which is perfect for busy mornings.

Down and straight

easy mom hair, easy hairstyles, hair for busy moms

On days my son sleeps in then that usually gives me just enough time to straighten my hair.  I have so much stinking hair that it takes a lot of arm strength, time and patience to get this hair straight.  I would say it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to dry my hair and then straighten it.  A lot of days my hair is straight are the days I washed my hair the night before so I just have to spend about 20 minutes or so straightening it.  Here is a similar straightener to the one I use.  I love it because I can adjust the temperature on it.  It really comes in handy with all this hair!

Half-Up

easy mom hair, easy hairstyles, hair for busy moms

Once I straighten my hair, I don’t typically wash it for at least 2 or 3 days.  It sounds gross, but my hair doesn’t get greasy.  I think it’s because it’s so thick and I have so much of it.  Washing it every day actually dries it out and makes it frizzy, so I try to avoid that.  But usually on day three I like to wear it half back since I tend to touch the hair around my face a lot more and then it starts to look a little oily.

Styled

 

braid hair tutorial

Before my son was born I created this twisty braided half-up look.  I really loved it and I have even started doing it a lot of mornings before work.  It doesn’t take too long and it doesn’t have to be perfect.  

What are some of your quick and easy ways to wear your hair?  I am always looking for something new to try, especially if it doesn’t have to be perfect!

How To Streamline Your Life

how to streamline your life, streamline everything, how to setup auto pay, how to use google drive, how to use google calendar, meredith rines, merelynne, budgeting help, streamlining your life

What does streamline your life actually mean?  

Moms, we are busy all the time.  The only down time we get is when we finally go to bed for the night, but it can easily be interrupted with a teething toddler.  Us Moms get no breaks.  So for me I feel like we have to get our stuff together so we can make it easier on ourselves, and our families.  For me that would be streamlining every piece of my life.  

We’re laying in bed and trying to fall asleep, but our mind is going a mile a minute.  We’re replaying everything that happened that day – conversations, errands, tasks, feelings, and more.  We start thinking about the next day and things we need to get done, but somehow we now realize we forgot to do something.  So we tell ourselves to move it up our mental to-do list for the next day.  Hoping that we remember, but knowing tomorrow is going to be crazier than today was.

Mom life is hard.  Really hard.  

As a mom we put way too much pressure on ourselves and hardly ever ask for help.  Then when we’ve reached our limit we have a breakdown.  For me, I know I’ve reached my limit when I feel like my house is suffocating me.  I’m not sure what it is about it, but maybe it’s because I can immediately control my house.  When I feel like every other aspect of my life is out of control, the house is something I can get in charge of.

Moms wear too many hats – mom, boo-boo kisser, chef, cleaner, manager, logistics, accounting, pet wrangler, gift buyer, personal shopper, errand girl, career woman, friend, wife, sister, daughter, volunteer…

Seriously, I could keep going, but you get the gist.

One thing that has helped me take back control of the hectic areas of my life is by streamlining my life.  Now I will say I am not perfect at this.  Some days are better than others.  Some days are bad.  Some days I feel like I’m drowning at work and come home to too many tasks to get done before bed.  

But I wanted to share with you the few things you can do in less than an hour to really help you streamline your life.

Auto Pay

Setup your monthly bills to automatically come out of your checking account.  Doing this doesn’t take too long.  All you have to do is sign in online to your accounts, click the auto-pay or link your checking button.  Go through the steps, tell them which date you want it to run (most of the time it’ll be the deadline, a day before or you can pick the date), and then setup the amount (minimum payment, full balance, full bill, or specific amount).

The auto pay feature is amazing! You no longer have to worry about sending in your bill on time, you don’t have to worry about finding a postage stamp or running to the store to buy some.  If you have 6 bills a month that need to be mailed, you are spending close to $3 a month on stamps ($0.46 x 6 bills = $2.76).  Don’t have to worry about buying checks or envelopes so in the end it will save you.  

Auto Order

This goes along with the post I wrote about why Moms love Amazon Subscribe & Save feature.  You can order almost anything you consume on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.  We have ordered or do order diapers, wipes, dog food, dog treats, toilet paper, protein powder, ready to drink breakfast shakes, and more.  All you have to do is go to Amazon’s website, find the items you use on a regular basis and then setup it for the Subscribe & Save feature.  Amazon will give you a discount for ordering something automatically.  Plus, if you order 5 or more items (separate items) in a month then they will give you an even bigger discount.  

Once you figure out how often you go through diapers, laundry detergent, or dog food (or whatever you use then you can just let Amazon know.  I like ordering larger and heavier items from Amazon because that means I don’t have to lug it into a grocery cart or into my car while wrangling my toddler.

Setup Reminders in Your Calendar

I am a huge fan of Google.  I use Google for just about every aspect of our lives.  It hosts our check register, to do-lists, and our calendar.  What’s great about Google is you can share it with everyone in your family.  So you know when you husband’s appointments are and he knows when yours or the kids’ appointments are.  You can keep organized for dinners at home or nights you have plans out.  

But what I love the best about Google is the reminder feature.  You can setup a reminder for just about anything – dogs’ heart worm pills, changing the air filter in your house, doctor appointments, and paying a bill (if you aren’t able to do auto pay).  You can even use the reminders for every day tasks – empty the dishwasher, start laundry (or switch laundry, which is something I tend to forget a lot), your kid’s medicine, finish a blog post, and anything else you can think of.

You can read how I setup Google calendar to work for us, but you can really turn it into anything you want.  

Google To Track Your Spending

Going along with how Google is used in almost every aspect of our lives, we use it to track our spending.  Actually, we use it as our check register.  It’s on Google Drive so no matter where I am or how little time I have in between errands or a toddler throwing a tantrum because he can carry around the grocery store’s broom (yep!), I can quickly log into our check register, add in the expense and update our total.  Now I know how much I have in our checking account after all of our bills are accounted for.

E-Mail Over Paper

One of the biggest sources of clutter and just a feeling of overwhelm is all of the paper we get in our mail.  By simply switching to online statements, you no longer are inundated with financial stress on a regular basis.  We schedule time in our Google calendar to go through bills, make sure auto-pays are setup (in case we need to change the amount), update our monthly budget and so on.  It doesn’t take long and by having statements online then I can simply do our weekly money date from anywhere.  

Plus, some companies even charge $1 for sending paper statements.  You could be saving yourself some money just by switching to online statements.  You’ll get a monthly e-mail as a reminder letting you know your statement is ready to be viewed.  Then you can schedule time to look at all of your bills at one time.  You can create a plan to tackle each payment because you’ll be able to see the whole picture instead of just one payment at a time.  

Use a Budget

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of budgets.  I talk about them all. the. time.  Once you find a template you like (you can check out the one I created) then it makes it so easy to keep up with.  All you have to do is spend a few minutes each week updating and then you will know exactly how you’re doing.  I know for us, not knowing our money situation is a huge stress point.  I can feel the weeks that I don’t keep up with it because I start to feel like I am suffocating and every task is just too much.  

You’ll worry every time you buy groceries or go out to eat because you just don’t know how you’re doing.  So you tend to spend less, then run out and end up having to make a second trip to the store – so in the end you spend more.  If you would just take a few minutes to create a budget and then consistently update it you’ll have a more relaxed mentality around money.

What are some tools you use to streamline your life? Leave a comment below letting us know!

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger, knew when younger, advice to self, self advice

I wanted to switching things up a bit today.  I am sharing a short video with the top 10 things I wish I knew when I was younger.  Trust me when I say I could have kept going with this list… like whoa!  I have learned a lot, I’ve made plenty of mistakes and I know it’s just the beginning.

Now not all of these things are huge mistakes I’ve made (some are just embarrassing moments), but it’s fun to see how far I’ve come.  So check it out and let me know once one thing you wish you knew when you were younger.  Leave a comment below!

 

What to Pack In A Diaper Bag for Your Toddler

Affiliate Disclosure: please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. 

toddler diaper bag, what to pack in diaper bag, what to pack in diaper bag for toddler, whats in a diaper bag for a toddler, diaper bag for toddler

Motherhood is one wild ride.  So many changes happen in the first year and then when we reached toddler status the changes just kept coming.  I’ve learned not to be so worried about the little things and to have more fun in the moment.  One of the biggest things I’ve changed is the super heavy diaper bag that was weighing me down.  It was such a relief the first time I carried this smaller packed bag out of the house.  I can’t tell you how happy I was when we had everything we needed, too.  Such a great feeling!

As our little boy gets older my diaper bag has changed from this stuffed tote for a newborn to a much lighter bag.  I’ve realized I don’t need to carry all that stuff anymore and it’s so nice.  Now don’t get me wrong as a new Mom I was very unsure about a lot of things (like a lot, a lot).  It was nice having everything that could be possibly needed when he was a newborn.  As I’ve become more confident with motherhood, I have been able to improvise on the fly.  I’ve also learned that as mothers, we don’t need all the stuff in the diaper bag we imagined.  It was a hard lesson to learn, but once I had the light bulb moment it brought a whole new perspective.

Now my diaper bag has changed quite a bit.  No more are the days of leaning over and everything falling out.  I recorded a quick video to show you exactly what’s inside and what I recommend to keep in your diaper bag for your toddler.  Take a look at what I carry for our very active 16 month old.

The diaper backpack I have is no longer available on Amazon, but you can find a similar diaper bag here.

The thirty-one bag can be found here (I have an older version).

My purse can be found here (remember this was a gift from J using his reward points from work – not that there is anything wrong with investing in a nice purse, but with a small child and living on a budget it’s not always possible).

toddler diaper bag, what to pack in diaper bag, what to pack in diaper bag for toddler, whats in a diaper bag for a toddler, diaper bag for toddler

Some of Our Favorites to Include

Diapers
Wipes
Change of clothes
Sippy Cup that doesn’t leak
Book (similar set to what we have)
Small Toy (I prefer quiet toys for when we’re out to eat or in public places)
Snacks (Goldfish, crackers, Cheerios)
Snack Holder

What do you pack in your diaper bag for your toddler?  Leave a comment below with the details.

 

Check out more posts about parenting a toddler, even help with being a new mom and overall the whole motherhood thing.

How To Balance Life When Your Have Kids and a Career

How To Balance Life, work life balance, mom balance, how to stay sane as a mom

I had been working on this post about how to balance life for a very long time.  I’ve had the idea scribbled in a notebook for months.  I’ve had a draft started, but not finished for weeks.  Yet here I am completely changing the whole premise of this topic.  

Let’s get real for a second – when you have kids there is no balance.  Sure you can feel like everything is rocking and rolling for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but it will come crashing down at some point.  I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but it does.

For instance, I started this post off (then deleted it) talking about how to find balance you need to be a planner.  You need to have a list of everything that needs to get done, be able to know when to delegate and when to say no, and you need help.  But that was before our little boy spent the better part of 3 hours nonstop crying last night.  No idea why.  He just did.

I’m tired.  I’m dragging and I sure know that today is going to be rough.

It’s 8 am and I’m already sipping on a Diet Mountain Dew (it’s my version of coffee).  This post was supposed to be finished last night so it could go live this morning, but that didn’t happen.  Because no matter how hard I try to plan, prepare and schedule my day – it doesn’t always play out like I hope.  So instead of finishing this post last night, I sat in complete darkness holding my crying boy in my arms until he fell asleep.

And there is no place I would have rather been.

Truth.

So maybe work life balance isn’t a fine balance act.  Maybe it’s having the ability to say no to some things so you can say yes to more important ones.

My son, my family and my well-being comes before anything else.  So on days like yesterday, I have to reschedule everything I had planned for the last 3 hours of my day, I have to go to bed later than I normally do and I have to wake up earlier than I thought was possible.

But to me balance isn’t doing it all and being perfect, it’s choosing what’s perfect for me.

I may not get it all done in the time frame I dreamed of and that’s okay.

You may not either and you have to be willing to accept it.  There are a few things you can do to help you not feel pressure to do things you HAVE to do when things you WANT to do come up.

  1. Plan your day.  I use Google calendar to plan out my family’s life.  Everything task, appointment, and reminder are scheduled in my calendar.
  2. Keep a running to-do list.  I am someone who will obsess over something until it’s done.  I have found that when I write a task or an idea down, then I can turn my brain off and focus on what I was supposed to be doing.
  3. Be okay with change.  Days don’t always go as planned and you have to be willing to accept it.  Let’s face it as Moms no two days are the same.  And if you think they can be, then just spend time with a toddler because they will correct your thought process in less than an hour.
  4. Build in buffers.  For me that means going to be later or getting up earlier (preferably not within a 12 hour period, but that’s mom life).  I also try to keep my lunch hour free to do other work.  I work full time so when my lunch break comes I usually run home to write posts, record videos or edit them.  This gives me some flexibility when my evenings or mornings don’t go as I hope. 
  5. Know your priorities.  Sometimes we get wrapped up in the hustle of life.  We get frustrated when we have to stop mid-thought to dig a toy out from under the couch just for your little one to do it all over again.  At those moments, just stop and remind yourself every day they are learning something new and one day they will be able to reach for a toy under the couch themselves and that day will be hard.  You may not realize it at the time, but it will be.  When our little one could finally hold his own bottle, I was happy until the day came that I wanted to rock him to sleep for nap time and he didn’t need me to any longer.  He could hold his own bottle and lay down on his own.

I may not be perfect with work life balance, but I don’t think anyone can be perfect when they’re a mom.  No matter if you’re a mom who works away from home, works from home or in between.  Any woman who mothers a child, runs a household and is making a difference will never have a perfect balance act.  And at the end of the day when you watch your little one sleep you realize that it’s okay because they are more perfect than you could ever imagine.

Newborn Must Haves We Love

*Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

newborn must haves on a budget

 Our little Baby is going to be 6 months old tomorrow (what?!?!).  I know he is no longer considered a newborn (cue the tears!), but having a baby doesn’t necessarily mean you’re always going to be on time with things now.  Hence this post being so late!  

He’s our first, so we had a lot of learning to do those first three months.  It’s no lie we developed a serious crush on some of his stuff and wanted to share our newborn must haves. I wanted to share what we loved and what didn’t work out too great for us.

I tried to keep these newborn must haves within our budget so these are budget friendly items. The ones that seem a bit high are well worth the investment. I would recommend registering for most of these (if not all) for your baby shower.

For Sleep

Fisher Price Rock N Play – He loves to sleep in this during the day while I’m working around the house. He isn’t crazy about the rocking being turned on yet, but he does like the vibrations. I think the elevation is really nice and what he likes so much about it. Plus it’s light, so we can travel with it easily. I like to take it with me when I shower so I can peer out to make sure he’s okay.

dockatot

DockATot – this purchase has been a lifesaver for us!  He loves it, which means he’s sleeping great at night.  We love it because he’s sleeping great, but also because we feel safe with him being in the bed with us.  Plus, when we travel we just take the DockATot with us.  He’s familiar with the DockATot so he goes right to sleep no matter where we are.

Tummy Time

Boppy Pillow – we use this for tummy time, feedings, and sitting up. It works great for tummy time since he’s cushioned all around. I love that case comes off and is machine washable. I like to wash it a few times a week just to keep it nice and clean since he puts his face on it.

Fisher Price Play Gym – we received this play mat during one of my showers. It’s great. With three dogs running around we aren’t crazy about Baby being on the bare floor, so we put this down. It’s cushioned and has a play gym over it for when we lay him on his back.

Mommy Saver Lite App – it flashes shapes and designs that are mostly black and white, but they do throw in some colors.  It also plays a pretty soothing tune while turned on.  He is in awe of it during tummy time and it’s a great motivator for him.

Feeding and Soothing

Dr. Brown’s Bottles– I could go on and on about these bottles! I planned on breastfeeding so I didn’t do much research on bottles. But when that planned failed, we had to resort to using bottles with formula. After the first few days I just knew his little tummy was really hurting. We received some bottles during our showers, but I wasn’t sure if any were made to help relieve gas. I found these Dr. Brown bottles from other mommy bloggers and decided to give them a try. Luckily we received one from J’s aunt. It helped tremendously! Then I ordered more from Walmart and picked up in the store.

JollyPop Pacifiers – We were introduced to these while in the NICU. It really helped keep him calm during all of the poking and prodding. I talked to the NICU nurse and she recommended these due to their shape. She said it really helped soothe them, but wouldn’t cause any problems with how his little mouth formed around the pacifier. She gave us a few to take home and he really loved them compared to our other ones.  Now I’m not going to lie after about the second month, he stopped taking a pacifier on a regular basis.  We tried several other brands, shapes, and so on, but he didn’t like any of them.  I still carry one that we got from the NICU in my diaper bag just in case.  

Travel

Carseat Cover – This carseat cover is perfect for when we’re out and about. Not only does it protect him from the elements – rain, wind, sun and such, but it protects him from germ-filled people. Before I purchased this cover, people always were stopping to look at him. No one tried to touch him, but I knew it was inevitable. After the NICU I didn’t want any sick people getting too close to our precious boy. Now they can’t see him so out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

CuddleBug Wrap Carrier – I came across this wrap online and ordered one. It wasn’t as expensive as some other wraps I saw, which was a nice bonus. I like to wear this even around the house. If he’s a bit fussy then I all wrap him up and carry him while I work around the house. I can do laundry, dishes, cook dinner and clean all while he sleeps. It’s a bit heavier fabric then some other wraps on the market, so I’m not sure how it would go as the only means to carry him on a hot summer day.

newborn must haves

Infantino Fusion Carrier – This carrier is great! It’s a bit lighter so during the hot summer days when we’re outside, I like to use this one.  I took our little guy with me to work for the first 5 months (hello! waiting lists!) so I was able to wear him while I worked.  It was such a blessing!  Now that he’s getting older and bigger, it will transition to other positions.  Since he has good neck control these days, he loves to be facing outward to see everything.

The So-So Newborn Must Haves

Little Me Swaddles – when we first came home from the hospital and NICU this guy saved us. He loved it how snuggled it made him feel.  As he grew the more he hated having his legs bound.  So we stopped using it after he turned 2 weeks old.  He sleeps great without it, but I still take one with me when we travel just to be on the safe side.

newborn must haves, newborn products

Delta Children Sweet Beginnings Bassinet – We let him sleep in a bassinet when we first got home, but realized he never got very much sleep in there.  So that’s when we upgraded to the DockATot.  We purchased this one from Wal-Mart and I used it in the family room or when I took a shower.  It’s on wheels and I can just roll him around the house, which is nice to have!  

We Love Our DockATot

we love our dockatot

When our little one was just a month old we decided to break the one rule I said we would never do – we started co-sleeping.

GASP!

He would sleep maybe 2 hours in his bassinet or crib before waking up wanting to be held. Then we started co-sleeping and the very first night he slept close to 5 hours straight.

WHAT?!

I was sold on co-sleeping that very night. I wanted to make sure we did it safely for both us and baby. I had found DockATot through Instagram and fell in love with the cute designs and the ease of using it. I read testimonials and followed other bloggers that used their product.

Then I took a leap and purchased the deluxe version. It arrived less than a week after ordering it and we used it that night. Thanks to how they take care of their products the case didn’t even need to be washed before we used it the first time.

The DockATot changed how our baby sleeps!

dockatot

He fits snuggly inside and it the DockATot fits between J and I at night. That way either one of us can tend to him if he wakes up. It’s about the size of a bed pillow so it doesn’t take up too much room. Luckily we already had transition to a California King bed months earlier so we weren’t even phased by the addition of another pillow.

dockatot

This picture is embarrassing!  This crazy-mess of a bed is what we wake up to each morning.  J and I have used separate blankets for awhile now – I like multiple blankets and he gets hot way too easily. Plus we have three dogs that like to cuddle up, too.  Somehow we even take off the bottom sheet while sleeping.  I guess we’re just a mess. But Baby has no idea because he’s comfy in his DockATot.  

The only reason I’m sharing this real-life, embarrassing picture is because I was super curious how much room the DockATot would take up in our bed.  

What’s great about the DockATot is we can take it with us. When we traveled to Florida with my family and J’s family we just took the pillow with us. Baby wasn’t even phased by sleeping in a different room since he still had his cozy DockATot to cuddle in.  We shared a Queen bed during our trip and he still fit perfectly while J and I slept great too.  It was tighter than what we were use to, but still worked fine.

If you use my referral code, by clicking here or on any of the links through out the post then you can receive 10% off your purchase!

*I have not been paid for my opinion of the DockATot, I’m just a crazed fan. I do have a referral link that if you purchase from you will receive a 10% discount and I will receive a $5 credit.

Why I Chose To Go Back To Work After Baby

Why I Chose To Go Back to Work After Baby

Choosing to be a stay at home mom or returning to work after baby is a hot topic. I wanted to show why I chose to go back to work after baby.  It’s a emotional topic, but one I think is talked about enough.

I work for my family’s accounting and financial planning firm. The reason we moved to my hometown was for me to work with my Dad to learn the ropes. The thought of deciding to quit my job wasn’t possible. I am needed and I love what I do. 

I actually only took a six week maternity leave from work. I probably could have taken longer, but I also knew that I had work to do. Because I work for my family, I was able to bring Baby with me. It was a nice transition for me. I was able to get the balance of getting work done, but was still able to see him across my desk.

Even if I didn’t work my family’s firm, I’m positive I would have returned to work. It’s more than a financial choice, too. Sure the double income is nice, but honestly money isn’t a primary factor.

After four weeks of being home with just Baby and dogs during the day, I found myself irritable with J. I needed that outlet of talking to someone, working on a bigger project and just feeling needed. Don’t get me wrong, every few hours when Baby woke up hungry I felt very much needed, but it’s different.

working mom

 

Why I Chose To Go Back to Work After Baby

 

I loved my time at home and know when he goes into a daycare in a few weeks I will be a complete mess. I will miss being home with my little boy. It’s crazy – I never saw myself as a mother when I was younger, but the moment I heard his cries and saw him for the first time I knew this is why I was put on this Earth. To be his mom.

And one thing that goes along with being a good mom is providing for him. I want to give him the moon.

My parents wanted to give my sister and I more than they were given as kids, and I want to give our son more than I was given.  Which is a pretty tall order.  I know I want our son to travel (mainly because J and I want to travel!), to accomplish his goals, go to college and not have to worry about the expense of school, and have fun while he’s young.  To do all of these things, both J and I need to work.  

We need to be saving our money, paying down debt and dreaming of places to travel as a family.  With eliminating one of our incomes, we could still accomplish these goals, but we would have to sacrifice a lot right now and it would take longer to get there.

Another reason I went back to work was to save my marriage.

J and I were talking the other night and came to a conclusion. If I wanted to be a stay at home mom then that would probably be the end to our marriage. I know it’s crazy to say that and probably a little hard. But I don’t know how to do that successfully.

I found myself in my short maternity leave depending on J too much. He was my source for socializing, my relief when I needed a break from sleepless nights, and my punching bag when I got frustrated. Not a literal punching bag, but I just became very short with him over the weeks and I know that wasn’t good.

It wasn’t fair to him and deep down I knew that.  I like to think that I’m a pretty logical person so I could see myself acting crazy, knew it was too much, but couldn’t stop myself.  I realize I was a hormonal mess, but I feel like it was more than that.  I needed an outlet and I couldn’t depend on my husband to provide that.  I needed to find my own.

Work is my outlet.  I get up, get dressed, put on make up and head out the door.  I sit at desk and work on projects for our clients.  I like answering questions and helping our clients solve their problems.  Before having a baby, I really felt my career was what I was supposed to do with my life – crazy, I know!

Why I Chose To Go Back to Work After Baby

Now it’s all about finding a balance.  A balance between putting J first, providing for our son by giving him the foundation he needs and having a fulfilling career.  I will reach that balance at some point and I know I will struggle along the way, but I know I am setting a good example for our son and will be able to do so much with him as he gets older.  

 

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

How To Teach Your Kids About Money

How to teach your kids about money – the simple way!

Learning financial responsibility at a young age is crucial. Your child should know how money works and how hard work is how you earn money. It doesn’t grow on trees and we need to be teaching our children that from very early on.

I feel like my parents did an excellent job teaching my sister and I all about money.  It wasn’t handed to us, we didn’t earn it for making good grades (that was expected), and we learned how to budget out money.

I love my Baby and I’m sure he will be spoiled, but he will know how to work. I think teaching finances to children will help them know hard work is how you get ahead and that everything will not be handed to you in life.

Here’s my top tips for how to teach your kids about money:

Make them work for it.

Don’t just fork over an allowance each week.  Setup chores for your kids to do to earn their money. I  recommend having a standard set of chores to even qualify.  For instance, their bed has to be made and their clothes put away each day before they can do an extra chores to earn money.  

Don’t give them an option.

Chores shouldn’t be optional.  The money is an added bonus, but because they live in your house and you provide their meals then they should be expected to pitch in.  

Let them pick their chores.

Sit your kids down and ask what they want to help with.  My sister and I volunteered for our paying gigs so we felt like we wanted to do them.  It will help your kids take ownership in their tasks.  

I had a friend with young kids tell me this story once years ago and it has stuck with me.  His little girl started fighting with him on drinking her morning milk.  So instead of fighting back or getting frustrated he came up with a plan.  He set out 3 cups each morning and her job was to pick the cup she wanted her milk in.  She had taken ownership over making that decision and she would happily drink her milk from her cup of choice.

Let you kids decide what they want to do and they will take pride in getting it done.

Pay per chore.

Set a price for each task and that’s how they get paid.  It’s not a set amount each week, but they have a maximum amount they can earn.  Now I know each amount may differ between families.  25 cents per chore may work for some while others may give more, but no matter the amount you decide – you need to set a price and stick with it.

For instance, taking the trash to the street is worth 50 cents and bringing the empty cans back is another 50 cents.  Emptying the dishwasher is worth $1.00 and so on.  If they skip a day or a week then they do not get compensated for it.

Teach them how to budget.

I like the idea of having a set amount that goes into savings each week.  You can make it a specific dollar amount or percentage.  I prefer percentage because it also teaches them math each week.  You can set what you think is reasonable, but they know before they can spend any of their earnings a certain portion must be put aside.

10% is a good amount to start with in my opinion.  It’s a round number so doing the math can be easy.  You can have 10% for savings and 10% for tithing to teach your children about charity.

By treating the savings and tithing as a bill they are learning how to budget their money before spending which can really help them understand how expenses work.

Just a few simple steps can really help teach your kids about money.  It doesn’t have to take hours each week, just a few minutes every Sunday and your kids are getting a budgeting lesson.  I love the idea of passing on the work ethic my parents instilled in me to our son.