To get a pet or not get a pet? That is the question many parents want answered. There are surprises, cost, and responsibility. It’s a big decision for you and the pet. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a pet.
If you don’t know if you or a family member are allergic to a certain type of pet, it’s good to find out before you get one. No one wants to get a pet only to discover they need to find a new home for it. It could be cat saliva or dog hair. It could even be bird feathers. If you don’t check for allergies before getting a pet you will end up attached to a furry friend you need to find a home for. Add the fact other family members may be attached to the pet, you have a sad complicated situation.
Energy and Responsibility
A child may be able to handle feeding a lizard or snake once a week, but not walking a dog every day. If you plan on getting a dog and expect your child to walk it, consider the size of of the animal. Will you have a dog your child can walk, or a dog that will walk (or drag) your child? How much time can you or your child invest in play and training of a pet? There are many types of pets that require different levels of commitment. Choose the pet right for your family’s level.
Vet bills. Food costs. Pet deposits. Registration fees. All of these fall under the cost of a pet. People who could not afford to feed a Saint Bernard may be able to feed a a Toy Poodle. An apartment complex may require a pet fee for a cat or dog, but may not require one for a turtle or birds. Pure bred animals can often require more vet care than mixed breeds. Then there is the life span of an animal. A fish or bird may last only a few years, but a cat or dog could last twenty. Consider if you can pay for the proper level of care for that length of time.
Being a crafting addict can be quite frustrating for those of us on a budget. We love to build our supplies up, but the cost can be damaging to our bank balance. This is even true when we are crafting household items we hope will save us money. Here are a few ideas I have used to cut back on the amount I spend on crafting supplies.
Many fabric stores usually end up with small scraps of fabric after cutting yards of fabric. What can you make from these scraps? You can make hair supplies. You could make doll clothes. You can use them as quilt squares. Bean bags can be made from them. Depending on the size of the scraps you could even make covers for throw pillows. My local craft store sells a bag of scrap fabric for $2.99.
Buttons, Beads, And Charms
Buttons, beads, and charms that are decorative can be pretty costly. Instead of buying each separately, buy them in the form of inexpensive jewelry. There are many stores that have a inexpensive jewelry section. Look for the colors, shapes, or themes you are interested in. You may even find pieces that have both charms and beads you want to acquire. As for buttons buy old clothing from a thrift store instead. Not only will you end up with some pretty buttons, you will also end up with fabric to work with.
Instead of buying a set of crochet needles, buy one or two in the sizes that you usually work with. Instead of buying large packs of thread, buy one large spool. Often in our excitement we buy supplies or tools that we don’t need or won’t need for months. Instead pick one item for a few dollars rather than a set for ten dollars or more.
When it comes to homeschooling it’s more cost effective than it has ever been before. Free lesson plans can be found online as well as supplements for learning. There are a few items that help make teaching our children fun and save us money.
They are bright and colorful. They are magnets. They scream to children, “Please come play with us!” Aside from that, they save money on paper when working on letter recognition or spelling. They can also be used to teach numbers and colors depending on the set you get.
Yes, you want to teach the fine motor skills that come with writing, but kids can trace these with their fingers and have fun with them in their off school hours. You don’t even need a magnet board for them. Just use the side of the fridge.
It is difficult to lose assignments when they are in a bound book. Plus, kids enjoy personalizing them. Composition books come in a wide variety of colors and styles nowadays. They come both in college and wide ruled. There is a place to write the subject on the front of most of them. Bound notebooks also promote paper conservation. Kids feel less inclined to pull a sheet out for doodling because it’s bound similar to a real book. Best of all notebooks are inexpensive. I have found them at dollar stores, but the best time of year to stock up is during back-to-school sale season in August when they’re even cheaper.
Dry Erase Boards
I have found this item to be better than a chalk board. First, rather than using chalk, it uses markers. There isn’t that high pitched squeak when I write on it. A lack of chalk also reduces items in my home my toddler can stick in his mouth and choke on. Second, they save money in the paper department. They are reusable and can be used for daily school activities such as writing spelling words or doing math problems. Get a big one for teaching and/or a smaller one for each of your children.
I used to avoid house selling parties. I didn’t want to get roped into spending the money and I didn’t want to hear the try me pitch that usually comes at the end of such events. Lately, however, I have started to attend a few. Here’s why.
Friends and Networking
First of all, many of these parties are thrown by friends that are starting their own business, or really want the hostess gift and credit. Being a good friend is reason enough for me to go. Second, it’s a great way to meet people that would otherwise not be in my normal community. Inevitably I talk about projects I am working on or my career choice. I meet people that can either help me in these areas or that I can help in those areas of life.
These parties usually have samples and raffles available. Samples allow me to see if I really like a candle sent or lipstick color. Many of these products also have an edge to help them sell that is actually helpful ( like the little feet on the bottom of PartyLite candles) and are made of higher quality material.
Selling parties also seem to always have useful demonstrations showing you that the product really works or how to use the product easily in your own home. This can reduce the chances of buyer’s remorse. Even if you aren’t buying anything or believe in the product, try not to be cynical. No one likes a party pooper.
Cash In Hand
Having cash in hand helps when you are buying a car. It also helps when you are at a selling party. It keeps you on budget. First, if you buy something at the party there is a less likely chance of you being bugged after the party about placing an order. This works particularly well when you refrain from asking about other products you aren’t buying. Second, if you leave your wallet and checkbook at home it helps you keep on budget. Third, you can only be pestered so much by your friend selling the product when you make it clear, “This is my budget. I can’t spend more than this.”
One of the most awful things to feel is stressed out. This is especially true when your have no stress outlet. Between work, family, and daily maintenance (chores, cars, yards, etc.) who has the time and resources to waste on stress relief?
If this is a question you are asking yourself it’s time to stop and take a deep breath. There are plenty of free ways to get sweet relief from stress that are free.
A mandala is basically a circles or square with an ordered pattern. Creating a small pattern of order gives us a sense of peace. The best thing about mandalas is they can be made out of just about anything. They can be made out of colored sand or stones. They can be drawn or painted. If you’re really ambitious your mandala could be a garden pattern.
When creating them focus on the order you are creating. Focus on the pattern and try to make the mandala as balanced as possible and soon your mind will start feeling balanced as well.
Personal Tea Ceremony
Set a time to have a cup of herbal tea every day. If you prefer have hot chocolate instead. Take the time to focus on the fact you are preparing something for yourself. Take the time to feel the warmth of the mug and inhale the scent of the warm liquid. Take your time sipping your beverage and feel the warmth flood through your core. Take a few minutes to calmly breathe after the drink is done.
Yoga and Tai Chi are both very relaxing forms of exercise. The object of these two forms of exercise is not so much to break a sweat as it is to stretch your body and regulate your breathing. Even fifteen minutes a day can relieve stress and leave your body feeling revitalized.
Snow days are great, except when they stick around longer than one day. Missing a day of work is fun. Missing more than one day of work can put a strain on some family’s financial assets. Adding to that everyone is at home using more resources. There has to be a way to off set some of the money we lose stuck at home and away from our hourly wage.
The first thing that we are going to want to do is reduce the cost of our snow day. Keep the indoor temperature at about sixty eight degrees. Turn the lights off, and possibly let some sunlight in. If sunlight really isn’t an option (either it’s overcast or windows need to remain covered for insulation purposes) try lighting a few jar candles. They will generate both light and heat. This works particularly well for homes without a fireplace. If you live in a home with a fireplace take this opportunity to use it. Try to also stay inside. On day one it’s fun to go outside. By day two it’s out of our systems and we don’t want to loose heating money to an open door, even if it is for just a minute.
On day one we made sure that water was dripping to keep our pipes from bursting. We salted the steps and set our wind shield wipers up to keep them from freezing to the windshield. With the exceptions of the wipers (assuming we haven’t gone anywhere) we need to check on or do these things again.
Best Use Of Time
Now is the time to work on cleaning projects in our homes. Need to do four loads of laundry? Need to clean out the fridge or microwave? Need to organize some closets? We aren’t going to get a better time than this. The movement will keep us warm and we will be taking care of a chore we won’t have to worry about at a later time. Remember to make the kids help if they are suffering from boredom.