Not only does moving result in sore arms and sleepless nights filling boxes, it’s also a huge financial expense. When you’re moving long distances, you’re responsible for not only purchasing all your packing materials, but transporting all your items from one location to the next. It’s not cheap, but it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune either. Families can save big by employing some of these budget-friendly moving tips. Here are 7 money saving tips to help with your next big move.
1. Do it Yourself. Certainly it can’t all be done yourself, but if you strategize by doing the packing, organizing, and driving yourself, you’ll save big in the long run. You can even use some of the money you saved to invest in some portable moving containers, to ensure that everything arrives at once.
2. Give Yourself Enough Time. Lots of folks wait until the last minute to do their packing. Because time is essentially money, don’t take a week off of work to pack the week before you move. Instead, give yourself a month’s worth of evenings to slowly pack everything in your home. Plus, this will leave you with enough time to truly decide what should go and what should stay. Leading to our next tip…
3. Make Money While Moving. If you’ve employed our previously mentioned time strategy, then you’ll also have time to sell your unwanted items, instead of just donating or throwing them out. Because you’ve given yourself enough time, you’ll also have time to throw items up for sale on craigslist.com or have a garage sale. Who knows? This profit may actually cover the entire cost of your move, plus some.
4. Change Your Address. You don’t want to find yourself behind on bills, especially when they’re accruing nasty late payments or interest fees. Instead, change your address with the post office right away. This will ensure that any bills are waiting for you when you arrive and can be paid on time.
5. Donate Unwanted/Unsellable Items. Make sure to get receipts for everything you donate. These items can be claimed as tax deductions, which results in a better tax return. The money will be returned to you in one way or another, plus you will have done something nice for someone else. This may result in a karmic payback.
6. Get Your Refunds. If you’re leaving an apartment, you’re likely entitled to a refund of your security deposit. You’ll want to make that inquiry as soon as possible, so that your landlord knows to do a check once the apartment is vacated and you know what’s expected of you. Your utility companies may also owe you money. Let them know your shut off date and inquire as to whether or not this will result in a refund of payments or deposits made.
7. Check for Coupons. Finally, coupons are available for everything, not just groceries. Check your local newspaper and the Internet for discounts on moving supplies and services. Many sites offer coupon codes for a reduced price on services and goods. If you’re short on packing tape, employ a coupon before spending the full price.
I pride myself on being a happy person — really I do. There are not many days that go by that I am sad or disappointed or depressed. I am just basically happy. However, my life has not always been like there. There have been plenty of times in my past when I was completely riddled with sadness — to the point that I hated myself. So — how did I come out of that? What did I discover that made such a difference for me? Here is my list that I like to call the “Keys to Happiness”.
Put God First
In everything I do, God must come first. Now, for some — that may be a crutch, but for me — that is total life. God is my everything and He helps hold me together. I cannot tell you how much smoother my day goes when I have put spending time with Him above everything else in my day. I am more peaceful, joyous, and calmer when I have spent time talking to Him about my worries and struggles or needs.
Don’t Overload Yourself
This is one that I am currently working on. I have this thing where I think if I have any idle time in my day, I need to fill it with something. This is so not true. Doing this will cause you to get burned out super quick and your body will shut down eventually. You have to know when to say NO and stick to it. Don’t try to do everything yourself. If you don’t get to it or step up to take it over, it will eventually get done.
Take Time for Yourself
Anyone who says you must give of yourself all the time and never do anything special for you is a liar — just saying. Even Jesus drew away many times to rejuvenate himself, so if He did — guess that means I can too, right? If we constantly give of ourselves, but never do anything for ourselves that we love — we will eventually again, burnout, and not be of good use to anyone. Stop and take time to enjoy something you like — read a book, take a bath, go on a walk, go shopping, indulge in a Starbucks coffee — whatever it is, just do it.
Make Your Husband and Kids Your Main Ministry
Lately, I have been off track with this one. Pretty much everything else has been my ministry, and they just kind of have fallen by the roadside. The way the pecking order works ladies is that God is first, then your husband, then your kids – and everything else falls in line after that. Let your family KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that they are the most important thing to you besides God. Ladies groups, kids classes, taking meals to families are all great things, but if you are not doing those same things at home FIRST, then you need to rethink and regroup.
When I do the above 4 things for myself, I am a much more happier person. God’s joy grows inside of me when I am in align with His order for my life. It makes me a much more peaceful person — and can help you become that too.
What things help you to be a more happier person? Share them with me below.
Life has been pretty hectic in our home for the last few months. Robert turned 18 this past Christmas, Kayla will soon be 15, and Stephen and I are just plain busy with work. Let’s throw in our youth ministry and we have a pretty full schedule — all the time. So when we found out that we are going to be moving again, and I began packing boxes, the family spied all the board games that we had in the closet. We decided to start having a family game night again to help us slow down, and continue enjoying each other’s company. We miss that.
Since everyone is growing up and going their own separate ways most of the time, we decided that it was high time to slow the pace and create a family game night at least once a week. Here are a few tips on setting up your own game night for your family.
Make a Big Meal
Anytime we have family game night, we also make a big meal together. We get into the kitchen, which helps us to blow off the worries and stresses of the day. We pick something that is everyone’s favorite and we cook, laugh, tell stories – and just really make it a great time for all. We serve the big meal before we start playing, but we make sure that we make enough to munch on while we play games. Winning can definitely make you hungry
Turn off cell phones and the television
Because this world is so technology infused, when game night comes around, all electronics are turned off. We make sure NOT to purchase games that involve the television for that purpose — we turn everything off so that we can focus on family fun the old fashioned way!
Grab a new game
Once a month or so, we try to always find a new game. We recently got two new games in the mail to try out — Twister Rave Skip It and Twister Ringz. These are two of Hasbro’s newest games and, boy are they super fun! The colored lights immediately attracted my daughter — who loves all things neon.
Twister Rave Skip It
Skip-It® is back in 2013 with the all-new TWISTER RAVE Skip-It® game that will have players skipping as long as they can! The longer you go, the more you glow as multi-color LEDs reveal 20+ color levels as you play! Try to master TWISTER RAVE Skip-It® by getting the game to light up to reveal all four iconic TWISTER colors (red, blue, yellow and green). The fun never ends when you’re skipping your way to victory! (Requires 3 AAA batteries – not included).
Age: 6+; Players: 1; Available: Now at mass merchandise retailers nationwide; Approximate Retail Price: $19.99
Twister Rave Ringz
It’s all about the bling! This quick-action game challenges girls to twist, snap and clap to keep the beat to more than 20 different handclap games found online at PlayTwister.com. With each movement, the rings light up and change color. If you complete the handclap games in perfect sync, all rings in the game should start and finish on the same color! The TWISTER RAVE Ringz are perfect to bring along wherever your day takes you for impromptu gaming fun. Girls can check out online videos at PlayTwister.com to learn new skills and tricks! (2 electronic Ringz per pack; each ring requires 3 button cell batteries – demo batteries included).
Age: 8+; Players: 1-2; Available: Now at mass merchandise retailers nationwide; Approximate Retail Price: $7.99
Out of both games we received, my daughter’s favorite was the Rave Ringz. She and I sat and played hand games for over an hour the other day. It totally reminded me of my teenage years riding the bus with all my girlfriends, playing hand clapping games until it was my turn to get off. This truly is one of the coolest games ever.
To keep up with all the latest Hasbro news, “like” HasbroGameNight on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @hasbrogamenight.
Enter to win
One reader is going to win each of the Twister Rave games above.
To enter, leave a comment stating which of the 4 Twister Rave games you think you would like best (Hoopz, Ringz, Skip-It or Stickz).
You can get an extra entry if you Subscribe to Jen’s Journey Daily Emails (email must be verified for your entry to count). Then come back and leave a comment stating that you did so.
You can also gain one more extra entry by following me on Twitter @jennifer_sikora.
I will end this giveaway on 3/27 at 5 pm EST
Disclosure: I was given the Twister Rave games to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% mine and not influenced in any way.
When juggling your kids’ schedules starts to feel like a full-time job, even super moms can use a hand from technology to keep them on track. There are some great iPhone and Android apps to help busy moms with time and task management.Here’s a list of the top 5 apps to help busy moms. Which one do you think would be the most helpful?
Top 5 Apps to help busy moms
- ClickExpress Lite: These days, kids have social calendars like Hollywood A-listers. ClickExpress Lite helps their moms connect, communicate and coordinate with ease. From cub scouts to carpools and rock climbing club, this app helps parents build a team of their own by importing contacts and then creating, sharing and tracking tasks and activities.
- Cozi: Cozi organizes your family calendar, to-do lists, reminders, shopping list and much more — all in one place. Sign up on Cozi.com, then manage your account wherever you go using your iPhone.
- Grocery iQ: Simplify your grocery shopping with Grocery iQ, an intuitive shopping list that lets you build new lists quickly with features like predictive search and barcode scanning. Customize the arrangement of categories within your list so you can check off items in an orderly fashion as you navigate the store.
- Mint: Making financial decisions in real-time is easy with Mint when you can view up-to-date information about your accounts, check your budgets and edit info on the app. And there’s no waiting necessary. Enter cash or pending transactions in the app right at the time purchase and instantly see your available bank and credit balances.
- ShopSavvy: The ShopSavvyapp for shopping scans products and finds online and local stores providing this product. In addition to that, ShopSavvy compares the prices of the providers, shows user reviews, and searches for deals and discounts on the item.
What apps have you found helpful lately in saving you time and money?
2012 is almost finished and I always try to take a look back at the highlights of my year. It kind of gives me closure for that year and starts me on my journey for the upcoming year. I had a lot of exciting things happen for me and if you have been reading my blog all along, you pretty much know what they are. But for those who have just recently joined, let me share with you about 2012
Highlights from 2012
One of the best books I read this year was Choose Joy by Kay Warren. It really opened my eyes to what true joy is and how to keep it going in your life.
BEST DECISION I MADE THIS YEAR
This year I learned to just let go and love myself — for me. Not for who I can become, not for who I think I want to be, but for the person I am right now.
BEST MOMENT OF 2012
The best moment for me this year is when I conquered my fear of the ocean and swam neck deep with our youth group. It was amazing! I just let go and enjoyed the moment.
MY BEST MEMORY
Falling in love with a bunch of teenagers and feeling like for the first time in my life, I am doing what I was called to do. It is freeing to be walking in that moment of your life.
BEST PURCHASE THIS YEAR
Getting my daughter signed up for Camp Electric. She is going to be getting lessons from some of her favorite bands for a whole week in Nashville. It is some of the best money I have ever spent
Getting my braces this year is THE best gift I have ever gotten EVER.
I think the best change for me is just not trying to one every other blogger up and just accepting my uniqueness. I don’t have to be super big like a lot of other sites. I have loyal readers and if those numbers never grow, I will be totally ok with that — because YOU all matter to me That is my biggest change this past year.
What’s in store for 2013
I have prayed a lot about what I want to do for 2013. I am working on a new bucket list, my one word for this year, and what I want to accomplish on this blog for the upcoming year.
I am definitely going to try to get more quality content on here and share my heart more. We are working on organizing our lives more, graduating a high schooler from homeschool, and teaching the teens at church, so I have a lot I want to share with you as we go through that
More recipes of course — lots more of that.
And then –just working on my weight loss and getting more structure going there.
So what has happened to you in 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
For many families, the joy and fond memories of a vacation are ruined upon returning home to find that their house has been burgled in their absence. Home thefts are on the rise, and the current state of the economy has made the idea even more appealing to many criminals. Rather than allow the uncertainty over the state of their home to overwhelm them and destroy their vacation plans, many families choose instead to protect their homes and property in a variety of ways, securing it not only while they are away but also while they are at home. Here are some tips on how to protect your home while you are gone.
Tips and advice for protecting your home
Arguably one of the most important and valuable tips for protecting a home while on vacation is to make it appear as if the home is still occupied. For many burglars, the impression that someone is in residence is enough to deter them from trying to break in or damage the property in any way. Automatic timers can be very useful for switching the lights on and off at appropriate times, with some even capable of randomizing the lighting schedule to create the illusion that someone is truly home.
Enlisting the help of a trusted neighbor, friend or family member is another great way to maintain the illusion that the family is at home. Gardening, maintaining the lawn, walking the property on occasion and even parking a car in the driveway at various times can work well.
It is a good idea to notify the local police about any travel plans, particularly if the family will be out of town for more than a few days. While the police cannot act as personal security, they can take note of the house on scheduled patrols. They will also have the information on hand that no one is home in the event that there is a fire or other emergency taking place on the property.
A great tip for keeping home and property safe during a vacation is to keep announcements about the vacation to a minimum. Avoid posting any holiday plans or details on social networking sites or giving the information to anyone but a trusted friend or family member. Many thieves troll message boards and social networking sites looking for anyone who is vulnerable.
Take the steps necessary to secure the home. Things such as good window locks and sturdy doors are the most important first step to keeping a home and property safe and sound, yet they are most often overlooked.
Home security monitoring
Home security monitoring is the best way to secure and protect a home not only during a vacation but all the time. Even the most basic of systems has sensors on all the doors and windows as well as motion sensors and glass break sensors, which will alert the security company when set off. The security company will then alert the police and the owner of any break-in attempts or if any other problems occur – such as fire. From basic systems to deluxe smart house technology, home security monitoring is easily customized for any environment and family lifestyle.
What did you do today to make the world a better place?
Whether you are an adult or a child, every day we have a chance to do something special for someone else – to make a difference in someone’s life. It doesn’t take much time or money. All it takes is a kind heart and a passion to make a difference. Start small. Everyday do one thing for someone. It could be a total stranger or a close friend. I made a list of 25 different ways to make a difference. Add to it and make your own list. Then share it with everyone you know. It really only takes one person to start a change that makes the world a brighter place. Plus, when you pay it forward and help others, we get an instant boost of happiness. Remember, every day brings an opportunity to enjoy life.
2. Give a hug
3. Tell someone you love them
4. Give a compliment and receive a compliment. When was the last time you just said “Thank You” when you received a compliment.
5. Listen – really listen to what someone is saying to you. Don’t think about your answer, just be in the moment.
6. Call an old friend you haven’t talked to in years just to see how they are doing. Tell them you miss them.
7. Say you’re sorry if you need to. Learn to forgive others and yourself. Anger doesn’t do anything but destroy relationships.
8. Support your local stores – buy local produce, family pharmacies, small independent stores. Keep the American dream alive!
9. Start a garden – plant a tree.
10. Treat yourself with respect – if you don’t, others will follow suit. Take care of yourself. If your happy, your passing on a positive vibe. Your positive attitude is contagious – share the wealth!
11. Be a positive role model – others will follow.
12. Share your experiences – wisdom is priceless.
13. Did you recycle today?
14. Altruism is good for the soul. Volunteer, join a charity – the more we help others, the better we feel about ourselves. It’s a win-win situation, a 2 for 1. You help others and yourself in one shot! Get your kids involved. Altruism, it raises their self-esteem.
15. Be part of the community – be involved!
16. Take a moment of silence to just be – learn to slow down. We don’t need more impatience in this world.
17. Eat Healthy – watch what you put in your body, it’s the only one you got. Prevention is key to a long, healthy life!
18. Keep the world clean – throw your trash where it belongs and pick up others. Help keep the world bright and shiny!
19. Be supportive, honest and loyal to your loved ones. Be a good friend!
20. Ask people if they need help? Then do what you can to make their world happier.
21. Adopt a pet – a dog is really a man’s best friend – why? They give unconditional love, loyalty and help relieve stress. At the rehab I work at for Traumatic Brain Injury clients, we have Therapy dogs that come in on Friday’s and it’s the happiest day of the wee. They bring so much love, hope and friendship.
22. How can I empower someone today? Use positive word choices, positive reinforcement or bring them back to a time when they were feeling strong and high on life. Good memories brings a sense of control back to a person’s life. We feel happier when we are in control of our lives.
23. Be realistic – have realistic expectations for the world. Don’t expect perfection or you set yourself up for failure. Watch how your perceive the world. If you perceive the world in a negative view then that is what you will see. If you choose to see the world from a positive perspective – people will seem good, the world will seem inviting. The choice is yours – how do you want to see the world?
24. How can you help one person a day? Think of something you can do each day that makes a difference in just one person’s life. It can be a friend, family member or a complete stranger. Sometimes, we try to help a lot of people and get lost in the “Trying.” Help one person a day. It’s the Domino Effect, you make one person happier – they will make one person happier and so on…..We think to make a change, it needs to be HUGE and affect a lot of people. You can start the process of change and making this world a better place, one person at a time. Every day I think to myself: How did I make a difference today? Ask yourself that every day and as long as you affected one person in a positive manner, you’re doing your job to help make the world a brighter place.
25. Just be a good person – practice goodness, kindness, caring and empathy each and every day. Be the person you always wanted to be.
What did you do today to make the world a better place?
Written by Diane Lang, Author, Speaker, Psychotherapist and Positive Living Expert.
Diane Lang – Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized author, educator, speaker, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living. Lang offers expertise in multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and Centenary College.
Lang has been interviewed for numerous magazine and newspaper articles and has been a frequent guest on radio and TV shows including “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Network. Lang is a monthly contributor for “Family Beautiful” magazine, a weekly columnist for MommyTalk.com, a regular featured expert on the “Expat Show” broadcasted weekly on the New York ABC affiliate WTBQ-AM, and a Blogger at www.MyHappyBlog.vox.com.
Lang is the author of two books: “Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career” and “Creating Balance and Finding Happiness.”
What does it take to raise a family these days? Raising a family takes a lot of work. It seems that between age-old stressors like kids getting sick and being bullied, to more modern dilemmas such as mothers finding a balance between work and family or dealing with kids and technology–there are constantly issues that you want to learn more about.
The Internet is a great resource that can provide you with all of the education, insight and advice that you need to raise a newborn baby through the teen years and beyond. However, rather than search the Internet for specific topics, it may be wiser to visit a blog on a regular basis. An online parenting blog, such as Everyday Family, provides you with an online magazine experience.
This website is filled with fresh articles and blog posts on a variety of topics. Topics covered include breast feeding, having sex after pregnancy and childbirth, adding on to your family, work options for stay-at-home mothers and a variety of other hot and relevant topics. Numerous authors contribute to the site to give you a fresh, unique spin on each topic.
You can search for topics that are most relevant to your current issues and challenges as a parent, or you can read through recently posted articles and blog posts to keep your knowledge base up-to-date. If you have not yet had time to review Everyday Family, make the time to do so today. This is a website that ultimately can make your life as a parent easier and more fulfilling.
Sibling love. It does a mother’s heart good to see her children love each other with the love of Christ.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a]but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1st Corinithians 13