Raising a family is joyous but not cheap. Unexpected costs are to be expected. There are school outings, club fees for your kids’ afterschool activities, and so much more.
Time magazine, early last year, reported that the cost of raising a kid to adulthood is now at $233,610.
That’s a lot of money. So you might not be ready to hear that spending a little in the right places could actually save you money in the long run… But it’s true.
Here are the key areas of your family’s life where paying a little more is actually an investment that will compound with time.
Your family’s oral health.
Uncared for teeth end up becoming expensive teeth.
Skipping cleaning sessions might save you money in the short term. But in the long run can rack up a dental bill 10 times more than the cost of your regular cleaning.
Keeping your kids’ mouths in good health will ensure that they are able to eat a wide range of foods and get nutrition from many sources. Which is essential for growing children.
Humans are judgmental and are prone to make split-second decisions about others. How are others sizing you up? Of course, you want people to love you and yours for your hearts of gold, but while you wait for the world to change, don’t let opportunities pass by not paying attention to your appearance.
Breastfeed your baby.
A tip for parents and families who are just starting out. If you want to give your baby the best start to life, ditch the formula and breastfeed. This advice comes from the UN and the World Health Organization.
Breastmilk has antibodies as well as nutrients that infants need. Yes, there are valid reasons that you might not be able to breastfeed your baby. But where there is an option, this is one investment you can make into your child’s future health that actually saves you money in the process.
What it requires: your time and the pains associated with breastfeeding. But the payoff could be a healthier child who has fewer infections, and a lower risk of diabetes, obesity, and asthma!
The average family vacation reported on in 2017 was $4778. That’s a lot of money. But is it worth the expense?
You might not need to spend that much in order to get the payoff. Taking a family vacation often does involve a money investment. But you can travel within the US, or even within your state to places you haven’t been to before. And you needn’t spend close to $5000 to have a good time or to gain a family experience.
Building family bonds is a natural result of spending dedicated time together. And close family ties are what you have the chance of building while your kids are still under your roof. The result pays off in better health, longer life expectancy, and emotional resilience to weather life’s storms.
So invest time in creating memorable family experiences. Those experiences can serve as a bedrock to how your family behaves down the road.
Research free activities that can be done as a family. Schedule them as often as you can. Yes, they can be a lot of work to pull off but are always worthwhile in the end.
Hobbies, sports, and interests.
Helping your child find that thing that lights him up can be costly and time-consuming. But investing money into helping him discover his interests is a large part of parenting and should never be looked at as money down the drain.
Perhaps you put him into a year of soccer at your kids’ insistence, only to have him declare that he now hates soccer… That time and energy invested might seem like a waste, but it isn’t. These experiences all pay off at some point, even if only in the realization of what he or she is not interested in.
Your child needs comparison points in order to find the thing that could bring him a lifetime of enjoyment. So never consider clubs or activities a waste of time or money when their attention turns to other things.
Discuss with your child and make sure that this is not a result of just one bad day. If your child really is no longer interested in that hobby or club he was so passionate about only last year, it’s okay to move on.
I just got home after a busy day with the kids and friends. Our main focus was to go to Build A Bear for the Pay Your Age promotion. I really didn’t think it would be that busy and I thought it would be a fun time for the little ones that had not had the opportunity to Build A Bear yet. We got done and I opened up my phone to a ton of negativity about the event and that is really just not cool because honestly, it was a fun day.
About the deal: Any child was able to go to Build A Bear and pay their age in years for any bear of their choice. So if your child is 1, you pay $1! If you are older than 29, you were 29 for the day and could pay just $29 for any bear.
They definitely marketed the sale well. I heard about the sale from many sources and was intrigued and wanted to bring my kids. Well apparently other parents also had the same idea. After hearing from several people that they were going to go, I figured I would arrive early to get in line so we could be the first ones in the store.
Reality: I arrived at the mall around 8:30. The mall doors had not even opened up yet so my friend and I hopped in the line to get into the mall. I chatted with some other moms in line and I arrived about an hour too late if I wanted to truly be one of the first people in the store. A friend of mine arrived at 7:30 AM and she was in the first group of 10 to get in the store. That was smart on her part because for my kids it was really the wait to get the bears stuffed that was the killer. Watching the other kids get their bears and not being able to help is hard for a three year old LOL.
They had a full staff at Build A Bear, they had help from Mall Security, and managed things really well at our store. First you waited in line to get your bear. For US it took about 2 hours to get to the bears. This really did not seem to take very long at all. Dad walked around the little ones, my friend’s 6 year old daughter is exceptionally behaved and enjoyed snacks and playing while we waited.
The store had a system. Once you reached a certain point, you received a name tag with your age on it. Then you continued up to the from of that line. Once you moved up there your were grouped and moved to another line where you were the next group to pick your bear. They even had an empty store next to Build A Bear where they encouraged you to leave your stroller so it would be out of the way in the store.
After you picked out your bear, you could either pay for it empty and come back another time to stuff it, or you moved over to the stuffing line. The only restriction was that if you selected a Pokemon Bear, you HAD to get it stuffed there, you were not allowed to bring those home and then back to stuff later.
The stuffing line was the hardest stretch for us. THAT line alone was another 2 hours. NOW… the reason it was another 2 hours was because the wonderful staff was doing such a great job. Yes… your kids had to wait. BUT once their turn came, they got the royal treatment and got to stuff their bear and fill it with love. Again, snacks, walks, pointing out letters on the walls, playing games.. etc… and we made it through! It was FINALLY our turn! Caleb helped stuff little brother’s bear and fluffed them, we paid and we left with three happy kids!
Now. If you did not arrive early, I am sure your experience was not the same as what I am describing because you may not have had the opportunity to make a bear. My location “closed the line” somewhere around 11:00. I didn’t think to ask why- but the staff member I chatted with told me that they had enough bears in stock for everyone that is in line to get a bear. So instead of making children stand in line to not get a bear, if they wanted to get in line, they were given a voucher for $15 off any bear on their next visit. They had a security person standing at the end of the line signing out the vouchers. I am pretty sure if I had not arrived early, I would have been happy to accept the coupon and save my kids from waiting in line for 8 hours to pay a few dollars more for the bear.
Since arriving home, Build A Bear posted on their Facebook that due to the crowds and many stores closing, or fire marshals closing lines, etc., they issued a coupon that Bonus Club Members can download for $15 off any bear on their next visit. So even if you did not brave the crowds, you can still get a deal with this coupon. You have to print it or screen shot it by July 15th and stop into any Build a Bear store before August 31st, 2018 to redeem your coupon. The coupon reads one coupon per account, so if you have two kids you will need your spouse to sign up for an account.
Also, if you did not know, Build A Bear has a promotion that during your child’s birthday month they can go and build the Birthday Treat Bear for their age. They also have coupons all the time to help make the Build A Bear experience more affordable when you sign up for the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club.
When you live in an area that has harsh winter conditions, Mother Nature can wreak havoc on your home and yard. However, if you start to plan for these circumstances in the winter, it can make your spring cleaning and spring preparations so much easier—and sometimes even less expensive. Whether you’ve owned your home for a while or are a first-time owner, the following are six winter tasks to do that can help prepare your home for springtime.
1. Seed your garden.
Many homeowners make the mistake in thinking that your landscaping is something that needs to be done only in the springtime, but this isn’t true. In fact, preparing your garden in the winter is actually one of the better things you can do for your landscaping. That’s because your yard will naturally start to die down and hibernate for the winter, but the winter provides a great amount of moisture for your yard that it will use to fuel up.
By seeding your lawn, and even by planting flower seeds, during the winter, you can actually see the benefit of doing so come springtime. Even setting up a garden irrigation system during this time will prove fruitful come spring. Your yard will not only be thicker and more plush, but your flowers will grow more quickly and be a sight to see.
2. Dig up old flowers.
If your yard has annuals throughout, it’s a good idea to get these pulled out before the first frost. Not only are these dead flowers an eyesore during the winter months, but leaving them during the winter will make them freeze, and the bulbs are harder to dig up come springtime. Instead, if you rid your yard of the necessary plants and flowers before winter, you’ll have an easier time getting them out. Then, you won’t have a lot of yard work to do in the springtime, making your yard easier to prepare for the season.
3. Put items away.
If you have an outdoor space that you use often, chances are there are items there that possibly shouldn’t stay out all winter long. If this is the case for your home, be sure to put these items in storage for the winter. This way, you don’t have to worry about them becoming broken or damaged during the winter, leaving you with a large mess to clean up when spring comes. Instead, you’ll be able to re-use these items, allowing you to have less money to spend as well.
4. Prepare your pool.
If you have a swimming pool, it needs to be properly maintenance before the winter season approaches. Doing this not only protects it, but ensures you have an easier time getting your pool ready once spring and summer make their way in. In addition, if you have any issues with your pool now, this is the time to fix them. Most common pool repairs can be done yourself, but if you do need to call in a professional, most lower their prices during this time of year due to the seasonality of their business.
5. Fix any outstanding issues.
Sometimes there are issues around the house you don’t touch, but when the winter season approaches, it’s a good idea to fix these issues before winter. Usually, the winter weather can make smaller issues worse, and then you’ll find yourself with a very intrusive or very expensive fix in the spring. Instead of finding yourself in this situation, it’s important for you to fix these issues right away, especially if it has anything to do with your home’s exterior, foundation, or roof.
6. Clean it out.
Most people do a big spring cleaning, but there’s no law that says you can’t do this in the winter too. If you clean your home out during the winter season, you can reap plenty of benefits. First, you’ll create more storage space that you can use for all the new things you’ll get during the holidays. In addition, you may come across something you forgot you had, which can make a perfect re-gift or could be put to good use this time of year. Finally, cleaning your home out now makes it less of a project to tackle in the spring, so you can make more time for the springtime fun.
Being a homeowner is a big responsibility, and taking the time to get your home ready during the winter can actually have a positive impact on your home during the spring as well.
True and The Rainbow Kingdom now has two more stand-alone titles that are being released TODAY: TRUE: MAGICAL FRIENDS and TRUE: WONDERFUL WISHES each with 5 episodes…for a total of 10 NEW EPISODES!
If you haven’t seen the first season of True and the Rainbow Kingdom, this preschool series follows 8-year-old True and her best friend, a cat, Bartleby, as they help the whimsical citizens of the Rainbow Kingdom, a really cool universe that is colorful, bright, and happy, filled with delightful and fantastical friends.
In the new season, True goes deeper and learns about the people and creatures living in the Rainbow Kingdom. True’s adventures show kids how to deal with the unexpected, be emotionally resilient and to care for others. This Netflix series has a very positive vibe, True is happy and always looking to the best outcome!
If your kids like True and the Rainbow Kingdom, you may also want to download the True Wishes App so your child can play games with True too! The True Wishes app is available on Google Play or Apple Apps Store for just $1.99.
True and the Rainbow Kingdom is produced by Guru Studio, in collaboration with Pharrell Williams’ i am OTHER, world-renowned artist collective, FriendsWithYou and Home Plate Entertainment. They are the same animation team that also brought you Paw Patrol, Backyardigan and Ever After! They are no longer just an animation studio though, but also an entertainment company; they have evolved from animation projects into creating their own stories, which is super awesome!
Follow the hashtag #trueandtherainbowkingdom on social media to see what everyone is saying about the new True episodes!
There comes a time for many of us when we grow bored with our careers. Maybe we got into this career without really thinking about where our passions lie, or maybe your conditions have changed over the years, making the job less exciting. Or maybe you’re just in the mood for a change, and you want to do something different with your life. Whatever the reason, when the time comes, you’re not entirely sure where to go next. To help you out, here are some of the most exciting career opportunities, to give you something to think about.
Starting Your Own Business
Rather than working for someone else, why not work for yourself? Starting your own business is very exciting, and you get to choose what type of business you want. Maybe you want to sell homemade quilts, or turn your home into a bed and breakfast. Whatever it is, following your passion and starting a business is always exciting. There are of course some risks involved, and you’ll need a lot of planning in order to start off right. But plenty of people have quit their jobs to start their own business, so there’s no reason you can’t be the next.
Learn to Fly
What could be more exciting than flying an airplane? Pilots get to fly all over the world, while being fairly well compensated. By finding a professional pilot program in your area, you’ll learn everything you need to know, and get hands on experience in flying. Once you learn to master the skies, you’ll wonder how you ever settled for road trips!
Become a Travel Blogger
If the idea of traveling suits you, but you don’t want to do the flying yourself, then perhaps you could earn a living as a travel blogger. Travel bloggers visit places all over the world, and write about their experiences. Finding a way to get paid as a travel blogger isn’t always easy, but if you can pull it off, you’re likely to find yourself in a career that you love. You’ll need a talent for writing, along with some knowledge on how to run a blog and market yourself. Also keep in mind that a lot of people are trying to make it as a travel blogger, so you’re going to have some competition.
Learn to Act
Many of us harbor a dream of one day appearing on stage, TV, or film, but we never pursue those dreams. Maybe it’s because of stage fright, or maybe it’s because we think we don’t have any talent. Whatever the reason, we settle for watching people perform, always wishing it was us. If this sounds like you, consider doing something about it. Take some acting classes in your local area, or learn to act on your own. Once you have some of the skills down, muster up the courage, and start looking for acting opportunities in your area. Most places have regional theaters you can audition for, or if you’re near a major city, you could audition for TV commercials or smaller productions. You might not become a celebrity overnight, but if acting is really your dream, then it’s time you went after it.
Nothing says exciting like running into a burning building. If you want to help your fellow humans, and do something worthwhile with your life, the country always needs more firefighters. Talk to your local fire department about becoming a firefighter, and the training that is necessary to join them. In some cases this is on a volunteer basis, and in other you could turn it into a lifelong career. Fighting fires is a dangerous job, but if you really want excitement, this could be the way to go.
Become a Paramedic
Lastly, if helping out others appeals to you, but you don’t want to have to enter a burning building in order to do it, think about becoming a paramedic. Paramedics work in high-stress environments, rushing to locations to quickly help out people in distress. Becoming a paramedic takes a decent amount of training, and a large time commitment, but it is an excellent way to give back to your community and have an exciting job at the same time.
Try Something New to Find the Right Career
The above careers are only a small sample of the exciting job opportunities that exist out there. Think about what it is you’ve always wanted to do, and then find a way to do. You don’t have to quit your current job in order to try out something else and see if you like it. Just be open to new ideas, and if an exciting career opportunity comes along, be brave enough to consider it.
FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, I am being compensated for mention of the brands in this post, however all opinions are my own.
Buying a new car can be exciting and stressful, but the first step to buying a new car is figuring out what kind of car you NEED. If you aren’t sure where to start, cars.com can help you narrow it down, but before you head there, some food for thought and tips to help you pick the right car for you!
1. How many people will be traveling in the vehicle regularly?
It sounds easy, but think about it, how big is your family? Are you the mom that picks up all the other kids for soccer practice? Do you carpool? Are you a group leader and use your vehicle for outings? These are all things you need to take into consideration when you buy a new car. Obviously if you are a family of 8 you need a mini van to start will!
2. Where will you be driving the vehicle?
Will this be the family vehicle or is this the car dad drives back and forth to work? Do you want something with better gas milage if you will be driving it a lot?
3. Will you be putting CAR SEATS in the car?
This is a big one for parents. For 8 years your kids are in carseats, so if you will have kids in booster seats, rear facing seats, or convertible carseats- you need to figure out who will sit where and if the new car is equipped to handle the amount of carseats. Fun fact- it is It is hard to fit three carseats across any car. It is like a puzzle of car size, car seat type, and car seat brand to make that happen.
You know what you like and what you need to make your driving experience a pleasant one. For me- remote start and heated seats are my must haves. If you are getting a used car, I would make a list of “Must Have” and “Would be nice to have” features so you know what you want and what you need when you are car shopping.
I know as a child you are told color doesn’t matter, but I feel like when it comes to a car, it really does. Did you know that dirt actually shows up more on black cars than white cars? Ya, a little fun fact I learned while car shopping with my mom 15 years ago. Also White, black, and silver cars usually have a higher resell value than odd-ball colors like Green or Pink.
One thing you really need to consider is how much you actually want to pay for a car. You might want a luxury vehicle, but your price point might be more of a value vehicle. Look at the numbers for price points and what you are willing and able to spend.
7. New versus Used
This is a big one. Do you want that brand new car with 0 zero miles on it? Or are you okay with saving money by buying a car that is a year or two old? (Personally I prefer a new to me car and not a BRAND new car)
8. Trunk space
Ahh another tip from a mom- test out to see if you can fit your stroller in the trunk before you buy the car! I ended up having to get rid of my last stroller because it wouldn’t fit in my trunk!! For me trunk space is a huge priority since I use it so much, grocery shopping, mall shopping, travel- I need room for storage so if you are like me- looking for a car with a good amount of storage space is important!
I hope this helps you narrow down what you want when you are looking for your next vehicle. Cars.com is great tool, and here are some things to think about when you are starting to find the right car! And here is me and my last new-to-me-car
If you are wondering what activities would you do with your family and children while on a trip to San Diego. Well, you need not worry as there are plenty of fun things to do and an endless number of attractions or the whole family in this fantastic city. It is no wonder that San Diego is considered one of the world’s best family destinations, thanks to those gorgeous beaches and perfect weather the whole year round. With loads of family-friendly San Diego vacation rentals and resorts, there is truly something for all ages to enjoy. It is time for the whole family to enjoy special experiences together, whether it is at the zoos, the parks, the beaches or other attractions. The Pacific beach city is well known for its beaches, museums, and gardens. Read on to know more about the fun things you can do while on vacation here with your family.
Learn to Surf
One of the coolest things to do in San Diego is surf and get your family on board. Even your five-year-old kid can take surfing lessons! And it is possible for the whole family to get together and take group lessons in private. You could surf in Pacific Beach or at La Jolla Shores. There are plenty of accredited surf schools along the coast.
Go Whale Watching
Blue whales are the largest creatures on earth. Whale Watching is a popular activity here in San Diego and at least for about nine months. More than 20,000 whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters of Mexico from mid-December to April. So get your family here during those months to enjoy watching those grey whales. There are several local companies that arrange for the whale watching tours.
Snorkel or Swim
Go to the Jolla Shores Beach that is home to the major aggregation of leopard sharks in the world. They come here during the summer, and their numbers can peak around August and September. One can easily see them even in knee-deep water, but the best way to watch them is while snorkeling. Although they are sharks, they do not bite.
Visit Children’s Pool seals
This is one of the most fun things to do in La Jolla, and the best part is that it is free! Children’s Pool seals are really cute but are a bit stinky. The small stretch of beach is guarded by a seawall that was initially meant for a safe place to swim for the children. One can hang around and sunbathe in the area as well as swim here. This is a great locality for photographs and for watching a myriad of sea lions.
Enjoy A Falconry Lesson
Your children will love taking a basic Falconry lesson that is organized at the Alpine ranch by Sky Falconry. This is your chance to learn the history and story of falconry and get lessons from licensed falconers. The classes offer an in-depth look and insight into one of the oldest field sport in human history. You get to learn not just about falconry but also become a falconer. Get acquainted whet specialized falconry equipment and training techniques involved with falconry.
Take the Old Town Trolley Tours
Hop on and off at several stops around San Diego once you get on the orange and green Old Town Trolley. The tour eliminates the need to take a rental car in San Diego. One can simply download the interactive map on to their phone to get info on various attractions, stops, and restaurants.
Enjoy Winter Tide Pooling
Enroll at tide pooling season that starts in November and carry on through about March. This is the time when the tides are low during the day, and it is easy to see sea anemones, sea stars, sea slugs, hermit crabs, octopus, and more in the pools. The Birch Aquarium near Scripps Pier and Shell Beach in La Jolla and the Tourmaline Surfing Park in Pacific Beach are other great locations.
Explore the Carlsbad Flower Fields It is indeed a joy to walk across the rainbow of colors that fill the 50-acre Carlsbad hillside. It is simply amazing to gaze at the ranunculus flowers that bloom against an ocean backdrop. The family-friendly San Diego attraction remains open to the public for about eight weeks and offers hay rides and other special events.
Kayak the Sea Caves
All you need to do is hire a double kayak from La Jolla Shores Beach and explore the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater. It is easy to spot the friendly sea lions and orange garibaldi fish from above. All the sea caves are visible from the ocean, and the barks of sea lions are almost deafening near the Clam’s Cave. The sea cave tour is highly recommended.
Drive to Legoland
Take the drive from San Diego to Carlsbad, especially if you are a Lego fan. You will love riding on the Royal Joust or getting wet at Pirate Shores. Get your driver’s license at the Volvo Driving School, and if you are wondering where to spend the night, well Legoland California Resort is just nearby!
Amazing experience at San Diego Zoo
Do not miss your trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo that is home to thousands of endangered animals. Enjoy looking at a beautiful display of exotic plants spread across those hundreds of acres of the zoo. The well maintained and spacious zoo is dedicated to conservation and research. Some of the main attraction of the zoo include Skyfari tram, the pandas and the Polar Bear Plunge.