Tag Archives: Tips

Saving Money On Your Next Home Move

It’s stressful moving to a new home. There is a lot you need to think about, from finding a new place to live, to packing everything up, to selling your current home. One of the more stressful aspects of moving however is simply the costs. There are many costs associated with moving, and if you aren’t careful, they can quickly skyrocket.

In an effort to help you with this, here are a few ways you can cut costs on your next move and make it a little more affordable. Hopefully, by reducing the costs, you’ll also be able to lessen some of the stress.

Compare Local Movers

First up, you should take the time to compare prices of local moving companies. Moving is a big job, and you’re probably not going to be able to do it alone. Having a team of professional and experienced movers on your side can make your day run smoother, and take a lot of the stress off of your shoulders. However, when you’re looking for a moving team, you’ll also want to consider the price.

Different movers charge different prices for your job. The bright side is most of them will provide you with a free estimate before you sign any papers. Using this estimate you can compare the costs of different movers in your area, and then select one that you can afford. Your goal is to find a mover that is both qualified for the job, but also affordable. For more information on finding a good mover, you can check out www.aandamoving.com.

Buy Supplies in Bulk

Next, you’re going to need some supplies in order to move. Boxes, bags, storage tubs, markers, bubble wrap and tape are all common supplies for moving jobs. You’re going to need more than you think though, so it’s a good idea to buy your supplies in bulk. By buying in bulk you can get a discount and save yourself a few dollars. When moving, it’s better to have too many supplies than too few. You don’t want to find out the night before you move that you don’t have enough boxes to fit everything, and suddenly you’re making a run to get more instead of packing.

Find Some Free Supplies

In some cases, you can even get free supplies. Boxes in particular, are easy to find for free, if you know where to look. One great place to check is a local grocery store or supermarket. These places get shipments all the time, but they don’t need all of the boxes. Rather than throwing them away, they’ll often give them to anyone who comes by and asks. You may not be able to fit all of your things in free boxes, but if it means having to buy a few less, it’s worth the trip.

Do as Much as You Can Yourself

When you’re in negotiations with a mover, they will tell you about all the services they provide. While it can be tempting to let your mover handle everything, you can save a lot of money if you’re willing to do some of the work on your own.

For instance, pack up your own belongings. If you give yourself plenty of time, you should be able to properly pack away all of your things before the movers arrive. Another thing you can do is help the movers load the truck. Many movers charge by the hour, so if you can speed up the process a little by helping out, it’ll save you some money. Grab some friends and at least move all of the boxes in your home closer to the exit, so that the movers can load the truck faster.

 

Stay Organized

Finally, the key to a successful move is organization. If you’re not organized, things take longer and are more likely to go wrong. This results in you having to spend more money. To keep yourself organized, create a moving checklist of things you need to do, and have it handy at all times. This will allow you to check things off as you complete them or add new things as they pop into your head throughout the day.

Look for Shortcuts, But Don’t Sacrifice Quality

When trying to save money on their move, many people look for shortcuts. While this is sometimes good, you don’t want to sacrifice quality. Don’t use old boxes that are about to rip just because they’re free. Don’t hire movers with no experience just because they are the cheapest. And don’t try to rush your move too much, or you may find someone ends up injured.

By taking your time and exploring your options however, you should find that you are able to not only save money on your move but ensure a smooth and safe process at the same time. Good luck!

This is a collaborative guest post. The views and ideas expressed do not necessarily represent those of Mommy Ramblings.

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Children Are Being Bullied About This Common Issue

One common issue that many children (particularly boys) are bullied about is, large or protruding ears. A quick search on the Internet, will lead you to the accounts of thousands of children who report being bullied because their ears stuck out.  If your child is the target of bullying because of their ears, there is no denying it is causing them distress. Whether they are facing verbal, physical, cyberbullying or a combination of all three, there are some things you can do to help your child handle the situation.

What Causes Bullying? 

Bullying can happen for a multitude of reasons. Generally, bullies will hone in on anything that is considered ‘different’ from the norm, and continually draw attention to that to make them feel better about themselves. It could be a physical feature like protruding ears that is the focus of the bullying or something else.

While the motivations behind the bully’s actions may be unclear, they could be targeting your child because they feel jealous, want others to like them, want to fit in with their friends, because they’re angry with themselves, or because they like to exert power over others.

Tools To Help Your Child Manage

The first step to help your child manage the situation is to ensure they have the tools to be able to respond to the bullying when it happens. This might involve giving them tips on how to stand up for themselves, how to tell the bully what they’re doing is not okay, keeping their distance from the bully, or developing an understanding of  how their emotional response to the bullying will help them build resilience.

A good place to start is by seeking information and support from an organisation like BullyingUK, where you can find a range of resources and strategies to teach your child how best to manage the situation.

What are the other options?

While the ideal solution is for your child to develop the skills they need to effectively manage the bullying, if that does not work, you may look into surgical options to correct their protruding ears.

Otoplasty (or cosmetic ear surgery) is commonly requested by parents of children with prominent ears in the hope of sparing them relentless teasing or bullying. In many cases, the parents themselves have prominent ears, and don’t want their children to experience the same torment and pain they were subjected to at school.

Sometimes referred to as ‘ear pinning’, otoplasty is a surgical procedure that can set prominent ears back and closer to the head. This helps reduce the size of large ears or reshapes ears that are distorted or damaged with the goal of creating a more balanced and symmetrical appearance.

The procedure can generally be performed on children between the ages of  5-14, as the ears are almost fully grown by age 5. Some parents opt to have the surgery as soon as the child is of suitable age and prior to them becoming self-conscious to avoid the anticipated bullying in the school yard.

Resorting to surgery in young children is often a very tough decision, and not one that is taken lightly.  It is important that parents are both aware and supportive of their child’s feelings to ensure they want the procedure. It’s likely your child will also need to wear a headband for several weeks following the procedure, so it may be a good idea to schedule it during the summer or in conjunction with school holidays.

If otoplasty is something you would consider for your child, be sure to seek out an experienced professional who has valid qualifications and be sure to carefully weigh the benefits with the potential risks to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.

This is a collaborative guest post and does not necessarily represent the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.

 

 

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4 Questions To Help You Determine Why Your Child Is Crying

When your child is crying and won’t or can’t tell you what is wrong, it is very frustrating. Meltdowns can be difficult for even the most experienced parents to handle. When it happens, your automatic reaction might be to tell your child to stop crying. Unfortunately, that rarely works so you might want to consider these factors.

Crying is a natural reaction for kids when they are over-stimulated, over tired, or physically hurt. Figuring out which it is and meeting their needs can help you get to the root of the problem. The next time you are faced with an outburst, take a deep breath and ask yourself these 4 simple questions before reacting.

Is it something physical?

Perhaps your child refuses to put on his shoes and bursts into tears when you stand firm. Is this a battle of wills  or could it be that they are dealing with physical pain they may not be able to express? The frustration of not being able to articulate what is going on, can trigger an epic meltdown.

Take a look at their physical condition. Could it be a toothache? According to Lane Family Dental, “Your tooth may not bother you at all until that moment you bite into a decadent slice of chocolate cake. The shock from coming in contact with sugar is a pretty sure sign that your tooth has a cavity.”

Or could it be a headache? Mayo Clinic states that headaches in children can be difficult to diagnose, but they may cry and hold their head to indicate pain. Lastly, it may be the most common physical reason of them all: your child may just need a nap.

Is your child feeling stressed?

This one is more common among older children. You may wonder what could cause a child to be stressed. Actually, any situation that is new to a child can cause their body to release the stress hormone, cortisol.

Dealing with after school activities where a certain level of performance is expected, can add stress to an already-full school day. Tears could also result from a frustrating classroom situation. It could even be  something they have heard that they don’t know how to handle. Consider that their tears may not really be about having to clean their room or do a chore. In reality that outburst may be an expression of accumulated stress.

Is your child hungry?

It happens to everyone. So much so that a new term has cropped up to describe it; Hungry + angry = “hangry.” Hangry describes how attitudes go south when our bodies are lacking fuel. Even if your child ate a good lunch, by the time they get home from school, they could be famished. If they don’t have a healthy snack, they could be heading for an emotional outburst. So, while you do not want to use food as a bribe to stop their tears, their hunger is likely what is causing them to be so cranky.

Give them a hug and  go to the kitchen and fix both of you a healthy snack. Turn it into an activity so that the association becomes one of doing something together, versus using food for emotional relief.

Is Your Child Overstimulated?

Have you ever wondered why so many meltdowns happen when shopping, on vacation or in the aisles of grocery stores? Chances are high that it’s the environment that is over stimulating your child. Places that are noisy, have crowds of people and multiple things to see can be overwhelming for kids.

With so much for a little brain to process, kids turn to the one thing they know will bring relief. Their tears will bring mommy or daddy running to fix everything. Consider a quick exit from the store or environment to get your child to a calmer place instead of demanding or pleading with them to stop crying.

Lastly, if you are always telling your child to stop crying, it could convey a message to them that negative emotions should stay bottled up. This can lead to difficulties with opening up in later years and stunted emotional growth. Studies tell us that our tears serve a good purpose. Tears and crying can reduce the body’s stress hormone and bring calm back to our physical state.

So, instead of feeling harried when your child breaks down in tears, realize that the tears are one way your child is communicating with you. That crying is their body’s way of calming down.

This is a collaborative guest post. The views and ideals expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Mommy Ramblings.

 

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10 Time-Management Tips for Busy Parents

Let’s face it, most parents feel like their days are a game of beat the clock, and more often than not they end up losing. Trying to keep everything together and get that huge to-do list done can lead to frustration, losing your temper and feeling overwhelmed.

Life is unpredictable, especially with kids. Even when you plan, emergencies happen. You may not be able to avoid chaos altogether, but here are 10 Time Management Tips that can benefit busy parents. Following these tips can help bring order and peace back to your life and help you make the most of the time you have.

Prioritize 

I cannot stress the importance of this, knowing what is a priority and what is not, is key to getting the things that matter done. Every day write your to-do list and prioritize your tasks into what you need to take care of immediately, what you need to do during the week and then your more on-going or long-term tasks

Delegate

This is so hard for some of us, but as a rule, if you can delegate a task that is not something you absolutely have to do yourself to a person that you feel will do it 80% as good as you would, delegate it. It doesn’t mean you are not a good mom if you don’t go up to the school to copy and distribute 1,000 fundraiser flyers. Let someone else do that, and it will free you up to do the things that only YOU can do.

Batch Tasks

Look over your to-do list and see what tasks you have that you can batch. This means if you have to go to the bank, post office, kid’s school and the dentist, try to do it all in the same trip. This saves time and gas money!

Get organized

If you are always running late because you can’t find something you need; it is time to get that under control. Get a filing cabinet for all your important papers, birth certificates, passports, insurance documents and more. Have your kids place all homework, library books, permission slips and other things in their backpacks each night. This will save frantic library book searches in the morning.

Have everyone lay out their clothing the night before. I really like these weekly clothing organizers for kids. Having your kid’s clothes picked out and organized for the week ahead, will make mornings less stressful.

Family Message Center

Install a family message center in a central location in your home. Make sure that everyone uses it to communicate what is coming up, post shopping lists,  permission slips and school papers that need to be signed, important reminders and more.

Use the Internet

I cannot stress enough what a time saver doing things online has made in my life I shop, pay bills, do research and more online. If you do have to go out to a store, check out their current sale flyer online and make a list of what you need to buy. Taking the time to do this, will get you in and out of the store faster without forgetting things. While online, you should check to see if there are any special coupons or promo codes that can be used in store.

Purge

Do a clothing and toy purge and make it fun. Promise the kids a treat like going out for ice cream, when you go to donate the purged items. This way you won’t drive around for months with those bags in your trunk. Trimming the excess from your lives will make you feel a lot lighter and make cleaning less of a chore.

Meal Planning

Plan your meals for the week. This will simplify your shopping and you won’t be running out all the time to get something for dinner. Use a slow cooker or pressure cooker, to help you get dinner on the table easier and faster than ever. Make extra when you cook to freeze and save, or check out some freezer meals you can make ahead for the whole week.

Assign your kids Chores

Giving kids jobs to do helps them learn responsibility and improves their self-esteem. Even little ones can help with certain tasks. You can use chore charts to make it easy for kids to see what their responsibilities are.

Learn to say No

This is so important, because our inability to say NO effectively, is the reason we end up with too much on our plate. It is okay to say NO, and to say it often. You can say, I would love to help set up the school book fair, but I just cannot take on any more projects right now. Once you say it a few times, it will get easier.

Following these 10 tips can help you bring some order to your life and save you time and stress. What are your favorite ways to manage your family and your time effectively?

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Smart Tips To Follow When Choosing A Plumber

Many of us rely on various trade professionals to restore our homes when the unexpected happens. In this regard, few are as important as plumbers. Not only are plumbers in charge of repairing some of the most important parts of our home, like faucets, toilets, and water heaters, but if you choose an incompetent one, that mistake will probably be an extremely expensive one.

I am sure you can see why it is so important that you choose the right plumber, the first time, for your job.  To assist you with that, here are some things you should be aware of when searching for a plumber.

Who’s The Best Fit?

One thing to understand, is that not every plumber is experience and trained to handle every type of plumbing issue. According to Fix It Right Plumbing, a Sydney plumbing company, “If you have a large project (renovations or building a new house), it makes sense to get a plumber that specializes in this type of work (Contract plumber). The right plumber should be set up to tackle your job,  they need to have the right tools (Excavators, laser levels, pex piping tools) and give you a quote upfront that you can compare to quotes from other plumbers.

You want a plumber with competitive prices, who will work as quickly and efficiently as possible to complete your job. Some plumbers can be messy, hard to get a hold of (especially after hours) and are not concerned with paperwork that you need like invoices, permits etc.

Using a service based plumber on a large project is like going to the convenience store for your weekly shopping – you are paying more for convenience when you don’t need to. Making a mistake in this regard isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, as you will probably get good service, albeit at a higher price than you need to pay. Let’s face it, no one wants to pay more than necessary.

In order to avoid this situation, you will want to take a closer look at the website for the kind of plumber you need. Generally, you should be able to find a list of the services provided as well as, testimonials from past clients they served. Even if they don’t say contract or service-based specifically, you should generally be able to infer this from the nature of the jobs they specialize in. If you can’t be sure,  ask when you call them.  Your initial call is also the opportune time to inquire about other important details like if they are licensed and have insurance. This attention to detail, will help to make sure your plumber is following the latest business codes. This is very important, because it means you are protected in the event they have an accident on the job.

Other good questions to bring up include whether or not your plumber charges a fixed or hourly rate, and who will actually be doing the work. Some plumbers use subcontractors or helpers, and while that can be okay, you want to work with someone who is transparent about it.

Who’s The Best Option?

When you’ve narrowed the field to plumbers who will be able to work on the job you have in mind, it is time to choose the one who you think will be best. There are a few ways that you can do this. The preferable way is to get a recommendation from someone you trust, whether it is a friend, family, or coworker. Not only are these people motivated to steer you the right way, but they also know what traits in a professional you value. They will likely recommend a plumber who is competent, personable and willing to explain the exact scope of work involved in your repair. Another thing to guide you, is to spend some time looking at online resources and reviews, but keep in mind, they could be biased.

Hopefully you won’t need to call on a plumber too often. However, when something goes wrong with the plumbing in your home, it can put your entire household at a standstill. When this happens, you want to be sure to you have a professional you can trust. Take advantage of some of the tips in this article before you are faced with an emergency situation. That means that when the time comes and you need a plumber, all you need to do is call up the right company for your needs, lay back, and let them do their work.

This is a collaborative guest post, it does not necessarily reflect the words and views of Mommy Ramblings.

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How Pre-Planning Your Child’s Summer Benefits Both of You

When your kids get old enough to start making decisions, it’s difficult to know when to step back and when to take over. No one wants to be the helicopter mom, but you want to make sure your kids are getting the best opportunities. Summer vacation is one area where you want to get more involved.

Here are a few ways pre-planning your child’s summer benefits you.

1. You can make decisions together

When you have to make arrangements at the last-minute, oftentimes, you’re calling the shots without any input from the kiddos. But if you give yourself a little time, you can talk things over. Sure, some things won’t be negotiable, but you can let your kids choose whatever activities they can.

As soon as the options are available, collect all the possibilities and discuss them with your kids. Make sure you keep any scheduling conflicts in mind. It may help to grab a pencil and mark up a calendar. If you have more than one child, this may be a process that takes some time.

2. Your kids will have more opportunities

All the popular summer activities sell out fast. So, if your kids are going to be going to camp or taking some extracurriculars, you’ll want to book them in advance. It could be the difference between adventure camp and knitting 101, so this is very important.

Stress the importance of choosing wisely because most activities cannot be changed after you make a deposit.

3. You can arrange more free time in the summer

Just like the activities, good childcare can sell out fast too. If you’re planning to put your kids into a program or book the most reputable nanny, you’ll want to pre-plan. And as a bonus, you may be able to book more date nights if you make arrangements with a babysitter early in the season. You can even schedule a night every week or every other week to get away with your significant other.

4, You can finalize your vacation

If you book your vacation before you plan your kids’ activities, you may regret it. For example, what happens if there’s a big soccer tournament the week of your vacation? If you had booked the extracurriculars first, you could have worked your vacation around the big events.

Plan your kids’ camps, sports practices and music lessons before you decide when to take your family vacation. This will also save you from spending money on weeks of programs you won’t be using.

5. You can plan for anything

When you know what your summer is going to look like, you can plan. For example, if you’re taking a road trip, you can pre-plan vehicle service. Things like this can easily get away from you, so try booking any important appointments as soon as you plan your summer activities. This may include doctors’ visits, dentist appointments or even haircuts.

Planning doesn’t solve every problem, but it can certainly help you get the most out of your summer. What are your best summer planning tips?

 

This is a sponsored guest post. The views and ideals expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mommy Ramblings.

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5 Helpful Painting Tips To Paint Like A Pro

Winter is a good time to tackle some indoor home improvement projects. You would be surprised at what a fresh coat of paint can do to chase the doldrums of winter away. So, if you are ready to freshen up your walls, check out these 5 helpful painting tips to help you paint like a pro. 

Safety First:

Protect your eyes from paint drips or flying debris with a pair of plastic safety glasses or goggles. Make sure your room is adequately ventilated and if you are using any product with strong fumes, wear a respirator.

Prep First:

No matter how excited you are to get that color on the walls, you cannot skip the prep. Check your walls for cracks, holes, dents, stains or other imperfections.  For most issues, a lightweight spackling compound and putty knife will be all you need. Just apply the compound and remove the excess. Allow the area to fully dry then sand lightly until the area is smooth and uniform with the rest of the wall.

Remove dirt and debris by washing down the walls. Remove all outlet covers, pictures, hooks, nails etc. Remove as much furniture and belongings as possible. Having a clear space will make painting much easier. Using a painter’s masking tape, tape the room to prevent paint getting on the molding. Cover the floors with drop cloths.

Use Primer:

Primers are developed to help seal your walls, prevent mold and stains and can even be tinted to the color of the paint you are using. Since primer is less expensive than paint, using a tinted primer means you won’t need as many coats of paint  and that will save you money. You can buy a paint and primer in one too, but when you are painting on new drywall, you will want to use a primer first no matter what type of paint you are using.

Cut In:

Start by cutting in with the primer or paint/primer. You want to cut in where the ceiling meets the wall, around windows and doors and where the walls meet the baseboard. It is best to do this one wall at a time. You should cut in and paint the wall and then move on to the next for the best looking results.

Load your roller and start at the top, roll a W or a V shape over a section of the wall and continue until the sections is covered. Then move on to the next, reloading your roller as needed. Allow ample time for the first coat to dry before accessing if you need a second coat.

Clean Up:

Remove the painter’s tape, if left on too long it can become difficult to remove. Clean paint brushes, rollers and roller trays per manufacturer’s instructions. Tightly seal paint cans. Before putting outlet covers back on you can put a piece of masking tape to the back and write what paint color you used on it.

I hope this post inspired you to take on those dingy walls in your home. There are so many color options out there and even if you are not ready for a big color change, you could do one accent wall to make the room pop. Let me know if these tips helped you and tell me all about your project in the comments. Happy painting!

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Baltic Amber as a Natural Teething Remedy

I am always looking for natural ways to treat common ailments. When I became a mother, I was even more obsessed in finding natural ways to help my baby deal with discomfort. The Tylenol and Motrin recommendations the doctor gives every single time I take my baby in to the doctor wasn’t cutting it for me. I don’t want to drug my baby.

Our Teething Experience

When Christina was a year old, she started having some issues with teething. She would cry for hours. She didn’t want to eat. She didn’t want to be held. She was just inconsolable.

I tried the natural ointment, essential oils and other remedies that I’ve found, but nothing worked well enough. I was starting to wonder if I needed to just let my guard down and give her the Tylenol.

Before I did that though, I wanted to try one more option – amber teething necklaces. I’ve heard of them and I had a couple of friends who swore by them, but to be honest, I didn’t understand how they worked.

How Amber Necklaces Work for Natural Teething Relief

I did some research on amber necklaces provided at www.balticwonder.com. Apparently, you need to purchase amber that is high quality. Amber is fossilized tree resin and it contains a treatment oil called Succinic Acid. When amber heats up, like with body heat, it releases the oil onto the skin, which then enters the bloodstream.

Succinic Acid is completely natural, and 100% safe for humans. Europeans and Middle Easterners have used it for centuries to cure many different ailments such as inflammation, headaches, aches, pains, and even colds, flus, and more.

Since I was able to do all my research on the Baltic Wonder site and they source their amber from Lithuania (the leader in authentic, high quality amber), I purchased a necklace. When I received it, there was a certification of authenticity inside of the package. I thought that was great. It made me feel good about the decision I made to buy from them.

I put the necklace on Christina, and she didn’t seem to notice. I guess because it’s so lightweight, she didn’t feel it. This was a relief because I thought she was going to pull on it and try to suck or bite it. She didn’t any of it. She just continued whining and playing.

I didn’t notice any changes in her behavior the first day. Of course, I realized that it needs longer than that.

The next day, I put the necklace on her again. She went on with her day, but it seemed as though she was much calmer. She ate a little bit more and her fever had decreased a little. It seemed like it was working, but I didn’t want to be quick to judge it.

It was the third day that I realized that Christina was no longer bothered by her teething. Of course, I also thought that maybe she was done cutting her latest tooth. I wanted to continue using the necklace to be sure it worked. Every day for the next three months, I placed the necklace around her neck, and guess what? We haven’t had any more teething problems. She’s a happy baby again and she has two new teeth.

I am very thankful for the amber necklace that I purchased from Baltic Wonder. It was exactly what I needed to naturally relieve my baby’s teething discomfort. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want to give their baby Tylenol and/or Motrin. What’s even better is that if baby gets sick, it can help with that too. Amber is a great remedy, and I am so glad that I have found it.

This is a sponsored guest post. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mommy Ramblings.

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Tips to Help Keep Your Kids Safe on the Internet

Your Child Will Be Exposed To The Internet

There are a wide range of threats to children online. These threats come in many different forms, from cyberbullying to identity theft schemes to predators who want to meet your child offline. These threats can be daunting and difficult to fathom, but with solid awareness and a plan to keep your child protected, your child can avoid most online pitfalls.

Your child is going to be exposed to the internet. In this day and age, it is unavoidable. Your child will be online at school, or at a friend’s house, and you won’t always be able to directly monitor them. You can’t prevent your child from being online, but you can instill good habits and keep tabs on their internet use in general. Here is what you need to do in order to keep your child safe when they are online.

Defining Safe Internet Use For Children

The first thing that you need to do is work to understand what safe internet use for children is. You should instill in your children that they need to keep their phone numbers, home addresses, and personal contact information offline. They shouldn’t talk to strangers online, and you should let your children know what types of websites are acceptable for viewing and which types of websites to avoid.

A child without direction could give away personal information to a stranger in a chatroom. If a child feels uncomfortable or that they made a mistake online, they should contact an adult they know and trust immediately. One easy way to keep you and your child’s personal information safe is through the use of a VPN.

 

Parents And Children Need To Stay Aware Online

There are new dangers popping up online each year, and parents need to know the dangers so that they can keep their children protected. There are email phishing schemes that seek to gain access to children’s personal information with a seemingly harmless email message. There are the risks of cyberbullying and pornography. Parents should stay aware of the risks and keep their children up to date on new potential threats online.

 

Tips For Parents

The good news for parents is that when children stay safe online, they can have a good time and learn more than if they were offline. The key is to establish rules early in the process so children know what is in bounds and what is off-limits. Make sure that your children use strong passwords and always log out of their email and social media accounts, so that they don’t allow access to the next person who uses their computer (such as at a school computer library).

Parents should always read the fine print on social media sites that their children join, so they are aware of the information that brands and other third parties can gain access to.

This is a sponsored guest post that does not necessarily represent the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.

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Living on a Tight Budget? 6 Creative Ways to Be More Charitable

The holidays often inspire people to give back to those less fortunate. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you may not think that you have the means to do some good. Giving can be done any time of the year. You also don’t need to be a professional athlete or Hollywood actor to make your own mark in this world. Here are 6 creative ways you can be more charitable without breaking your budget.

Offer Your Time

If you’re looking to be more charitable, your time can be a precious gift. If you’re handy and do a good job maintaining your home,  you can volunteer to build houses for those in need. For those who love and adore animals, you may want to foster dogs and cats until they’ve found their forever homes. After work, tutor kids in language, math or reading at an under-privileged group home. During the holidays, offer to serve meals or hand out food at a food bank or soup kitchen.

Save Spare Change

Between work and family, your life may be filled with challenges. Money struggles, going through a divorce or being falsely accused of domestic violence can prove devastating. The struggles can even ruin your reputation and hinder you from getting ahead with your career. However, by becoming more charitable, you’ll be bringing good into your household. With the wide number of groups and organizations that are looking for assistance, you may not have the funds to assist everyone.

If you’re limited on cash and have spare change lying around, put it in a bucket. Every time you pay for groceries, clothes or other necessities, you can put your change into this container. As the money adds up, you’ll have enough coins to put toward charities such as the Salvation Army kettle. There are other small monetary donations that won’t make too much of a dent in your checking account. Popular methods include when the cashier at a retail establishment asks you to donate $1 to help a homeless pet shelter or child with cancer.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Your local supermarket or retail clothing store may offer two-for-one sales or discounts on items. If you get an extra set of freebies, think about donating goods to a homeless shelter. The holiday season is a great time to declutter your home. If your used merchandise is in good condition, your local Goodwill center or thrift store may benefit from the clothes, shoes, coats and housewares. Your old electronics may also be valuable as they can be refurbished and sold to families in need. Eyewear can also be costly. Instead of tossing out your old glasses to make room for new, the Lions Club has a sight program that collects used eyeglasses.

Be Kind to Planet Earth

The Earth has taken a beating in recent years as pollution and other contaminants continue to harm the planet. If you’re looking to protect Mother Nature, adopt eco-friendly habits with the family. If you get the paper or magazines delivered, recycle the material. You can also use cloth bags routinely when grocery shopping or tote a reusable mug when bringing your coffee to work. You may also volunteer for your cities trash cleanup program designed to keep roadways and highways litter free.

Get Moving for a Cause

If you’re looking to become more charitable and stay fit, you can walk or run for a cause. There are a number of organizations such as finding a cure for breast cancer and helping the hungry who use walks and races to raise money. Encourage your friends and family members to get more involved and make a day out of the event. The Internet has a host of offerings, and the money to race is typically minimal.

Focus on Your Family

Some say that charity begins at home, and it actually does. Although you may have plans to save the world, offer your family some love and undivided attention first. Instead of burying your nose in your laptop or cell phone, ditch the electronics and focus on your children, pets and partner. Break out the games or get outside and go for a walk or bike ride.

If you’ve stretched your finances to the brink, it can be challenging monetarily to offer your assistance. But giving back to those who are in need doesn’t always mean reaching for your check book. Using the above strategies, you can become more charitable and still stay on target with your budget.

This is a sponsored guest post that does not necessarily reflect the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings. 

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