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Balancing It All

Struggling to balance all that an established lifestyle has to offer? The balancing it all group is for you. Discuss the challenges you face when your responsibilities at work, at home and with family and friends all compete for your attention.
Browse Blogs in Balancing It All
Blog Posts
Balancing Family Balancing family life takes patience, resourcefulness and many laughs. Learn some tips for managing the challenges of the average family. 167
Divorce, Debt, and Finances Tips, Struggles and Successes navigating Divorce, Debt and Finances 92
  • Divorce, Debt, and Finances

    Should You Live With Your Ex?

    • 9 Comments

    Today couples face the reality of foreclosure, short sales and houses that sit for a year or more. What do they do? Lose their shirt and sell well under value, if at all? Or, continue to live with their soon to be ex spouse, potentially with children in tow until things look up? Tough call and a decision I was glad not to have to make.

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  • Balancing Family

    Using Coupons: How much can I save?

    • 6 Comments

    Using coupons to reduce costs has been around for a long time.  However, it has received a lot of press in the news during the past year, as the recession hit and more and more people looked for ways to cut costs.  A woman who goes by "Coupon Mom" even wrote a book about it!  I am going to attempt to save more money using coupons and then share my findings with you. Wish me luck!

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  • Balancing Family

    Family Time and Weekend Activities on a Budget

    • 4 Comments

    You don't need to bust the bank to have fun on the weekends, with the kids, or as a family.  Here are some ideas for things to do all year long to keep the kids happy, and the money in the bank.

     

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  • Balancing Family

    Trying to Save Money? Don't Write Off Books and Movies.

    • 4 Comments
    I love books and movies. Before I had kids I bought all of the books I wanted to read and even saw movies in the movie theatre. Not any more. I used to have a Barnes and Noble discount card and ordered the books on-line with free shipping. Not any more. I used to have a subscription to Netflix and the movies would sit and sit in my house hoping that I would be able to watch them. Not any more. I can’t believe I paid $25 for the right to have 10% off for a year at Barnes and Noble. When you do the math that means I have to spend at least $250 a year before the discount actually works. I would order books on-line, spending up to get the free shipping. My Netflix cost was $15 a month, and with my crazy life I rarely watched the movies I ordered. I have canceled both services and I am going to save AT LEAST $500 this year. ...
  • Balancing Family

    What To Do With a Tax Refund

    • 4 Comments
    People are standing on street corners dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Businesses are advertising that they will cash your refund check for free. Various commercials for tax companies air on TV and pop up on the computer. It must be tax time. After having taxes taken out of our paychecks last year, my husband finally sat down to figure out if we owe or get a return. I had to exit the house of all three kids on a weekend day in order for this to happen but the good news (I think- more on this in a future blog) is that we are getting a refund. The question hung in the air, “How much?” Then the decision, how do we use the money?...
  • Divorce, Debt, and Finances

    Look at the Big Picture and be Thankful

    • 4 Comments

    It can be difficult to be thankful when your world is turned upside down. For many of us this year has been a difficult one, myself included.

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  • Divorce, Debt, and Finances

    Financial Discipline for You & Your Kids

    • 4 Comments

    So what does discipline have to do with finances? Being financially responsible is a skill all children need as they make their journey to adulthood. Unfortunately, many parents struggle themselves when it comes to applying discipline to their finances.

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  • Divorce, Debt, and Finances

    Healthy & Wealthy After Divorce

    • 3 Comments

    Breakups are often the catalyst for change; a new you and new goals for your future. Unfortunately, we often use every excuse in the book to keep us from reaching those goals. Now is the time to take a stand for you and resolve to be healthy, and wealthy.

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  • Divorce, Debt, and Finances

    The “Sticking” Budget

    • 3 Comments

    Sticking to a budget takes work and sometimes we are to distraught, busy, or simply don't know how to stick to the budget we created.

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  • Divorce, Debt, and Finances

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...Your Credit after Divorce

    • 3 Comments

    Most people haven't the slightest idea where to find help or the answers they need regarding credit card debt and how it may affect their credit report following a divorce.

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  • Divorce, Debt, and Finances

    What I Wish I Would Have Known Before Divorce...

    • 3 Comments

    When it comes to getting a divorce many of us have regrets not necessarily about the divorce but, the financial decisions we make in anger or haste to just get it all over with.

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  • Divorce, Debt, and Finances

    Sharing Your Kids for the Holidays

    • 3 Comments

    For those of us who are going through or have been through a divorce with kids in tow, this can be a tough time of year

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  • Balancing Family

    Saving Money Now, Fall is the Time To Think About the Holidays

    • 3 Comments

    In this blog, I will discuss some saving strategies that have worked for my family, which help with holiday shopping and getting through it debt free.

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  • Balancing Family

    How to Get Bargains at Yard Sales

    • 3 Comments
    “Mom, pull over, this looks like a good one!” yelled my son from the backseat. We were out on a Saturday morning, driving in our neighborhood looking for good yard sales. I first started going to yard sales when I was setting up my first apartment as a young adult. I found dishes, glasses, silverware, furniture, pots and pans, and even a few wall hangings. As a new teacher, I hunted for used books for my classroom library, as well as games for indoor recess. Then I had enough “stuff” and I stopped going to yard sales. That changed once I had children and no second income. I have found most of my kids’ plastic toys at yard sales. ...
  • Balancing Family

    Healthy and Inexpensive Meals

    • 3 Comments
    The toughest time in my house is from 4-6 pm. This is when my three children are home, homework must be done and checked, playtime needs to happen, the two year old toddler must be kept safe and busy, someone may have a sporting practice, Dad is not yet home from work and then sometimes calls to let me know he is running late or the traffic is bad. And somehow dinner must be made. I have served more chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese than I would like to admit, and my kids are huge fans of take out or frozen pizza. A big money drain is ordering out when I am too overwhelmed at this time of day to get food on the table. ...
  • Balancing Family

    Fishing With Kids

    • 3 Comments
    “Look mom, I caught a sunfish!” my son yelled. My eight year old son has on his summer list to go fishing in three new places. Last week, we packed up the fishing gear and headed to a lake where we had never fished before. A helper at a local sporting goods store had spent about fifteen minutes with my son the previous day telling him about some good fishing spots and helping him spend his allowance on fishing lures. I find fishing a great way to get kids outdoors; it engages them in an activity that can be as simple or complex as desired and it increases their awareness of the environment and the impact humans have on it. It is also a lot of fun and very exciting when a fish is caught even if the fish will be released so it can return home. ...
  • Balancing Family

    Eating Out on a Budget

    • 3 Comments

    If you are like me, and millions of other Americans, then you probably like to eat out at restaurants.  However, this can be a huge money drain on any family budget.  Here are some tips for saving money, while still enjoying the occasional outing to a favorite, or perhaps "new to you" restaurant.

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  • Balancing Family

    Teaching Kids Smart Saving Strategies

    • 3 Comments

    My kids are great consumers, if they had their way they would buy anything their hearts wanted and have no money in the bank, plus be in debt to me!It is up to me (and their dad) to teach them to be savvy and smart with their money. If I am smart and savvy with my money, they are more likely to follow suit, and I have learned that is very helpful to admit mistakes and use them as teachable moments. There is a balance to teaching kids about money so that they learn to use money wisely but not worry needlessly. As with parenting kids, there is no one "right" way, but you can use these ideas to help your kids be money smart.

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  • Balancing Family

    Summer Loving, Planning for Fun: Making a Summer Fun List

    • 3 Comments

    I love the anticipation of summer.  I know there is a lot to juggle, especially for parents of young children, who are balancing careers when school ends and summer vacation begins. 

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  • Balancing Family

    Positives of New Credit Card Statements

    • 3 Comments

    If you have opened a credit card statement this month it looks different!  New laws have been enacted recently to help consumers and the credit card statements have two major changes on them that can shock you.  And, if you pay bills on-line, you may have to look a bit harder to find this information, but it is worth looking for each month.

     

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  • Balancing Family

    Beating the Heat Cheap: Fun, cool, and "cheap" summer activities for kids

    • 3 Comments

    Some summers days are just plain hot!  Here are some ideas for things to do that are cool, fun, and cheap when you want to beat the summer heat.

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  • Balancing Family

    Planning for the Future: Do you have a Will?

    • 2 Comments

    Having a Will is important.  Even if you are single and feel you don't own much, having a Will allows you the opportunity to make your wishes known.

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  • Balancing Family

    Organizing Paperwork: What to Keep, What to Toss, How to Pay Bills on Time

    • 2 Comments

     I used to be able to keep up with all of the household paperwork that seems to grow more and more each year (although with more things online I would think it should decrease); but three kids and a busy household have me staring at years of papers piled into boxes and files filled with receipts and documents. What to keep?  What to toss?  How do I get it organized?  I can't afford a personal organizer at $75 an hour (I wish) so I will share my tips of how I am getting my office organized.  And if things are organized, I save time and money.

     

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  • Balancing Family

    Money Mom's Top New Year's Resolution

    • 2 Comments
    It is that time of year for a fresh start. In addition to losing 25 pounds left on me by my third child (I always tell her it is a good thing she is so cute) and lowering my cholesterol, I have some money resolutions I need to make. There is no time like January 1 to take stock of my family’s current financial situation and to make some changes. And I don’t want my resolutions to get thrown to the wayside so I am going to keep them as simple as possible, but it will not be painless. However, the health of my family’s finances depends on smart money planning, and that is an important part of my family’s health. ...
  • Balancing Family

    Some Things You Don't Need Money For: Holiday Traditions

    • 2 Comments
    While it is hard to avoid the consumerism that surrounds Christmas, my husband and I have been working to build our own family traditions because we know these are the things that our children will remember about their childhood. And it does not have to cost much money to do something fun as a family. Many of the traditions below cost almost nothing. ...
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