Category: Frugal Living Tips

Top 10 Healthy and Cheap Snacks Your Kids Will Love

cheap snacksPreparing cheap, healthy snacks for your kids can be difficult. With 1 in 3 children obese or overweight, preparing a balanced diet for your kids is more important than ever.

But what ingredients do you use for a healthy snack?

Here are our top 10 healthy and cheap snacks your kids will love.

Sweet Potatoes

A great choice for fun snacks for kids is sweet potatoes. Not only are they packed with vitamins, but there are plenty of different ways to prepare them.

While it may be difficult to convince kids to stay away from traditional french fries, the nutrients sweet potatoes bring their diet are worth it. With so many different ways to prepare your sweet potatoes, you’re sure to find a recipe that your kids will love.

Sweet potatoes can work well with any diet. Whether it’s vegetarian or paleo, you can still enjoy sweet potatoes.

Whether they’re fried, baked, or pureed, there are plenty ways to enjoy sweet potatoes.

Smoothies

If you’re looking for a great snack for the summertime, look no further. Smoothies are an excellent choice that will keep your kids cool and healthy.

There are a lot of different ways to make a smoothie. Trying out these new recipes and combinations can be fun for kids.

With a little bit of low-fat yogurt, some orange juice, and a banana, you have a solid base for your smoothies.

From here, you can experiment with different fruits, vegetables, and even grains to create a delicious and nutritious treat for your kids.

Whole Grain Cereal

Another fun snack for you try is whole grain cereal. Whether you just want an easy breakfast meal or a fun mid-day snack, whole grain cereals can give your kids the energy they need to get through the day.

Whole grain cereals provide energy and nutrients to keep your kids’ brains and bodies healthy.

Start their day off right with a little bit of cereal, some low-fat milk, and some fruit. Or use some yogurt to make some flavorful snack bars.

With the right recipe, you can put together a healthy snack loaded with different vitamins and nutrients.

Hummus

If you’re looking for an alternative for dipping your snacks, hummus is the solution you’ve been waiting for.

The pureed chickpea mixture can add texture and flavor to your snacks. In addition to tasting great, hummus is also rich in many different vitamins. But how should you serve it?

There are many creative ways to incorporate hummus into your snacks. Not only does it work well as a dip for your chips, crackers, and vegetables but it can also be used on sandwiches. While hummus has a thicker, paste-like consistency, it’s not as messy as other dips.

Cheese

A popular protein-packed snack for your kids to try is cheese.

Kids love cheese in all shapes, sizes, and forms. With the right recipe, you can create the perfect snack.

Cheese can be one of the most healthy and fun choices for a snack. The key nutrients it provides gives kids energy and can help build stronger bones.

Using full fat or 2% cheese can help keep your kids full until dinner. But it’s important not to give them too much cheese, or they may get sick.

Whether they’re cut into fun shapes or simple cubes, cheese can be a fun snack that kids can enjoy with their hands.

Quesadillas

Snacks with lots of different options are always the most fun. Quesadillas can help keep your kids feeling full until dinner and make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need to get through the day.

There are so many different ways to prepare a quesadilla. It’s important to always have a recipe that’s balanced and healthy. But what ingredients should you use?

Quesadillas are healthy and fun snacks because of the different ways you can make them. Using a combination of meats, beans, and vegetables make these snacks filling and nutritious.

With a little bit of salsa, some cheese, and a helping of beans, your kids will have a filling, energizing snack.

Peanut Butter

Much like hummus, peanut butter is another great spread to add to your snacks. Whether it’s used as a dip or a spread, peanut butter is a great choice for giving your snacks some substance.

Peanut butter is a versatile treat. There are plenty of ways to use it, whether it’s with something sugary or salty.

Because peanut butter is such a beloved childhood snack, it’s important to try to change your recipes up to make things interesting. Instead of the average PB and J, try using waffles or rice cakes.

There a lot of different ways to prepare a peanut butter snack. Because of this, the snacking possibilities are virtually endless.

Snack Mix

Another nutty snack that’s great for your kids is snack mix. Snack mixes are a combination of nuts, fruits, and sweets that are both delicious and healthy.

There are many different ingredients you can use to prepare a snack mix. Typically, nuts are used as a base to provide protein.

Finding the right nuts to use for your snack mix can be tricky. Whether you want normal peanuts, tree nuts, or shelled nuts, it’s good to figure out what will pair well with your recipe. Click here for more nuts to choose from.

When paired with fruits and sweets, snack mixes can taste great and provide kids with lots of nutrition.

Eggs

Eggs are another flexible ingredient to use in your snacks. The protein-rich snack can be prepared many different ways and is great for any time of the day.

While it’s most popular for breakfast, eggs can be served at any time. Whether they’re fried or hard-boiled, eggs can give kids the perfect balance of flavor and nutrients.

Noodles

Noodles are a quick snack that can provide kids with some carbs. When paired with sauces with vegetables, noodles can be a well-rounded snack for your kids.

While too much pasta could be bad, they can be great in limited quantities. When combined with sauces and cheese, noodles can provide them with a perfect balance of nutrients and flavor.

Preparing Cheap Snacks

Snacks are important for keeping your kids happy. Because of this, these snacks also should be healthy.

Finding a balance between cheap and healthy snacks is always tricky. But the first step to preparing healthy snacks is picking the right ingredients. Check out our blog for more tips and tricks for cooking healthy snacks.

10 Affordable Baby Clothing Ideas You Need to Try

affordable baby clothing

Raising a baby is far from easy. It’s also far from cheap.

Even if you’re pinching pennies and not yet investing in college savings or life insurance for your little one, the first year of your baby’s life is likely to set you back $20,000 or more.

This makes finding ways to save some cash important for all parents, new and experienced alike.

One great way to do this is by learning how to shop for and choose affordable baby clothing. Keep reading to learn 10 great tips for saving on your little one’s clothes.

1. Keep It Neutral

Whether it’s your first child or your third, it can be tough to stop yourself from buying every cute, patterned onesie or colorful pair of leggings you pass in the store.

One brightly colored, trendy onesie might seem harmless enough. But if you’re also tempted to buy pants, socks, shoes, or other items to match, you’re looking at a hefty price tag for a single outfit.

Instead, stick to neutral colors and patterns for the majority of your little one’s clothing. That way, everything matches. Not only will this save money when buying clothes, but it’ll also make it easier to wash the clothes and save you time when it comes to dressing your baby!

2. Don’t Give in to Holiday Outfit Pressure

From Christmas to Easter to birthday parties, it can be tempting to dress up your baby for photos and family gatherings.

But those fancy outfits can also set you back anywhere from $20 to several hundred. And since your growing sprout won’t fit in them the following year, or even the next holiday to come around, you won’t get much use for your money.

Your friends and family are going to think that your little angel looks adorable, no matter what he or she is wearing. So pick something soft and comfortable for passing around your little one, and save your money for other fun holiday ideas!

3. Mix and Match Onesies and Pants

The best baby clothes are also the simplest. Long or short-sleeve onesies in soft fabrics and pants in the same keep your baby comfortable and won’t restrict their range of motion.

But while neutral colors will save you money, adding a little color isn’t a bad thing either. To stay within your budget and add something fun to your little one’s wardrobe, ditch the old rules about what matches and what doesn’t.

Mixing and matching colors and patterns of onesies and pants can be a fun, inexpensive way to brighten your little one’s look without breaking the bank.

4. Skip the Sweaters and Sweatshirts

When the temperature starts to drop, you likely bundle yourself up in sweaters, thermals, coats, and more. First-time parents, in particular, tend to do the same to their little ones.

But if your baby is too small to be walking around in the cold or playing in the snow, you likely won’t be keeping him or her outside for very long. So before you drop a ton of money on sweaters and sweatshirts you’ll take off of them once you get inside or coats that they’ll only wear for a few minutes a day, think again.

You can just as easily dress your little one in his or her normal clothes, and then bundle them in a few blankets to keep out the cold.

5. Buy Big

Babies grow as much as an inch to an inch-and-a-half every month. That cute outfit you bought one month is likely going to be way too small in just a month or two.

While there isn’t much you can do–after all, you want your little one to grow–you can save some cash by buying clothes a bit bigger than your baby’s current size.

6. Save on the Basics So You Can Splurge Elsewhere

If you still want to buy cute outfits and clothes for special events, there are plenty of other ways you can save.

One great way is by saving on the basics. Basics like onesies, sleepers, socks, and leggings don’t vary much among different baby clothing brands.

So skip the expensive options and opt for bulk packs, clearance finds, or bargain brands. That way you can splurge on the cute outfits instead!

One great area to splurge on are accessories like headwraps. These are cute accents for any outfit and can be adjusted so that your baby will get months of wear out of them. Learn more about headwraps here!

7. Don’t Buy Ahead

Maybe you want to snap up that cute winter coat before it sells out at the store, even though it’s still warm outside. Or you want to shop last season’s finds on clearance racks to save some cash.

But buying ahead for clothing for future seasons is a big mistake. If your little one grows faster than expected, you may find yourself with items that are far too small, and that you’ve had too long to return.

When you’re trying to stick to your baby budget, make sure that you’re buying clothing as they are needed, and not a moment sooner.

8. Consider Shopping Secondhand

If you’ve had more than one child, you know that hand-me-downs are a great way to save some money. So why not save some cash by shopping secondhand as well?

Shopping yard sales, secondhand stores, and online shops like eBay are great ways to score great deals on gently-worn baby clothes. After all, no little ones stay one size for long, so it’s likely you’ll find lots of great deals on items that weren’t worn more than a few times.

Just be sure to wash the items before dressing your baby in them.

9. Let Your Little One Go Barefoot

There are few things cuter than tiny baby shoes.

But not only can these be expensive, but your baby also doesn’t really need them. When babies are learning to walk, its best to let them do so inside, barefoot. Shoes can make them unsteady. Plus, like clothing, babies grow out of baby shoes very fast.

10. Choose Unisex Colors and Styles

Planning to have more children after this one? Save yourself some money in the future by choosing mostly unisex colors and styles.

This will make it easy to pass them down to your future babies.

Finding Affordable Baby Clothing

Now that you know a few tips for saving money, it’s time to start shopping for affordable baby clothing for your little one.

Wondering where to start shopping? Check out this list of the best baby clothing companies to help you get started.

5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Is Essential for Single Mothers

why life insurance

What happens to your kids if something happens to you?

As a single parent, this thought can be terrifying. No one wants to think about dying. But when little ones depend on you, you can’t help but wonder what would happen if you were no longer there.

That’s why life insurance is important. When you’re the sole provider for your kids it’s even more important.

With the right life insurance policy, you can provide for your kids even when you’re not around. That would assuage a lot of worries, wouldn’t it?

Money is always pretty tight, though. Every cent counts. You may be wondering if you can really afford to buy life insurance.

Let’s take a look at some options. And then we’ll look at some reasons why you can’t afford not to buy life insurance.

Term Vs Whole Life Insurance

When you’re pinching pennies to provide basic needs for your children, every cent counts. You know that life insurance is important but you don’t know if you can afford it.

There are two general types of life insurance policies. Term life insurance and whole life insurance. The main difference is that term life insurance is good for a set term. Terms typically run from 10-35 years. Whole life insurance covers you your entire life.

Thus, a term life insurance policy is a lot cheaper. There is less risk that you’ll die during the term so the company can afford to offer a plan at a cheaper rate.

Term life insurance policies are very affordable. The peace of mind alone that a life insurance policy will give you is worth far more than the premium.

You can find more information about term vs whole life insurance and get a quote here.

Why Life Insurance?

Okay, so life insurance is affordable and gives you peace of mind. But what does that really mean? What do life insurance benefits cover and how will it put your mind at ease?

Let’s look at some of the reasons why life insurance is important for single moms. You can pick and choose what you want your specific policy to cover but here are some common options.

1. Death Expenses

It may surprise you to know but dying is very expensive. The average cost for all end-of-life necessities (not just the funeral) is a whopping $11,618!

You barely have two pennies to rub together on any given day so it can’t come out of your savings. Who’s going to pay for your death expenses?

With a life insurance policy, you don’t have to worry about that question. The policy will cover your death expenses.

This makes things a lot easier on family members. They have enough to worry about during such a difficult time.

2. Pays Off Debts

Are you still working diligently to pay off your debts? What happens when you die? Do they just go away? In some cases, they do. In others, they don’t.

For example, say you are paying off a mortgage. If you die, the house would most likely have to be sold to pay back the debt. Thus, in addition to losing you, your kids would have to leave their home.

A life insurance policy can pay off your mortgage. Your kids’ new caregiver could come to live with them instead of having to be uprooted during such a tumultuous time.

3. Covers Estate Taxes

The government is only too happy to have a tax for everything and that includes your estate. Of course, as a single mom, you might not have much of one. But what you do have you want your kids to be able to keep.

Estate taxes vary depending on the state you live in. Plus, if the estate is worth less than a certain amount (that varies by state) they won’t be levied against your estate.

But, if estate taxes do come into play, your kids won’t have to worry about them if you have a life insurance policy that covers them.

4. Covers Your Kids’ Expenses

Your mom, sister, cousin etc may be totally willing to look after your kids if something should happen to you. But, as you know, kids cost money.

Can your mom support your kids on her fixed income? Probably not. Your sister or cousin may already be stretched thin caring for her own kids.

A life insurance policy will ensure that the money needed to take care of your kids is there.

Life insurance policies don’t typically pay out to your children. That makes sense as they wouldn’t know what to do with the money anyways. Instead, you can name a guardian or create a trust that will pay out the money at specific intervals that you can choose.

Regardless of how you want to set it up, you can rest easy knowing that the necessary money will be there.

5. College Expenses

You can even include college expenses in your life insurance policy. Your premium may be higher with this option included. But if a college education is something that you really want for your kids, it may be worth it to you to include it.

Final Thoughts

It’s not a pleasant thought, but one day you’re going to die. You hope it’s when you’re old and your kids are already raising kids of their own.

But you don’t get to choose. You can eat healthily and exercise all you want, but you don’t get to choose when you die.

Take away the fear that your kids won’t have what they need by buying a life insurance policy. You can hope your kids will never need it, but it will be there just in case. That’s why life insurance is so valuable.

For more great personal finance and budgeting tips be sure to check out our blog.

4 Tips for Planning an Affordable African Safari

affordable african safari

Do you dream of watching wild giraffes stroll across the savanna? Would you love to see a pride of lions lounging in the shade or a stampede of migrating wildebeest?

Let’s face it: Most African safari packages are not cheap. So regardless of what your heart yearns for, your bank account might be holding you back.

If this sounds like you, don’t despair. The truth is that you can take an affordable African safari–you just have to know how to budget and where to look.

In this post, we’ll give you some expert tips on planning an African safari that won’t break the bank. Read on!

1. Choose the Right Destination

The best places to take a cheap safari are countries that are easily accessible and offer a lot of options.

You may dream of a safari in Tanzania or Kenya, but these areas are known for luxury accommodations and high park entrance fees. Many reserves in Botswana and Zambia are very remote and can only be accessed by private plane–which means bigs bucks for you.

For an affordable African safari, consider South Africa, Zimbabwe, or Namibia. These countries are much more accessible to the budget traveler while still offering excellent reserves.

2. Book Through a Local Operator

Major international tour companies may have flashy websites, but don’t be fooled. You’ll almost always get a better deal–and better experience–by going local.

Locally based safari operators offer local guides and better safari deals than the big-name companies. You may even be lucky enough to snag a great last-minute deal on your dream safari.

Cape Town-based companies such as African Budget Safaris offer terrific packages at very reasonable prices.

3. Travel During the Off-Season

Another helpful hint when planning an African safari? Book your visit during the off-season.

Although this usually coincides with the rainy season, it’s unlikely to rain all day, every day. Instead, you’ll enjoy far fewer crowds and better chances of seeing newborn babies and migrating birds.

Best of all, prices drop significantly during the off-season. If you want to take a cheap safari, this is the time of year to do it.

4. Save on Accommodation

A huge portion of most African safari packages is the accommodation. While five-star lodges and gourmet chefs certainly sound appealing, they can make a serious dent in your savings account.

To save money, select a budget option for accommodation. A 2- or 3-star hotel will still be very comfortable at a fraction of the price of its five-star counterparts.

Looking to save even further? Pick up some camping gear and take advantage of the cheap campsites scattered around most major game reserves. It’s also possible to rent a 4WD vehicle with a rooftop tent and all necessary supplies.

Why pay for a luxury hotel when you can sleep beneath the stars in the open savanna?

Book Your Affordable African Safari Today

So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to find an affordable African safari, all that’s left to do is pack!

Feeling inspired? Looking for more helpful tips on where and how to travel frugally?

Check out our latest travel posts for more information.

How to Buy the Best Kids Clothes Without Breaking the Bank

best kid clothes

As a mom, we know that you love dressing up your child in the latest styles and trends.

But when it comes to the top looks of the season, it can be incredibly tough to find out where to buy cheap baby clothes. You don’t want your child to look less than their best (or have to buy from unethical companies.)

Still, sometimes it can be tough to justify the sky-high prices of children’s clothing.

In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to get the best kid clothes without having to spend half of your paycheck.

Whether you thrift, clip coupons, or look for giveaways online, follow these steps to ensure that your child always looks like they just stepped off of the runway.

1. Scour for Coupons

The best way to score the best kid clothes for a fraction of the original price?

Head online to coupon sites (and sites like our own) that are dedicated to compiling all the latest coupons, giveaways, and deals all in one place.

Look for sites that collect coupon codes, offer you advice about upcoming sales, or tip you off about how to score freebies from your favorite companies.

Also, take a look at how to save on shipping costs when you’re browsing through the websites of your favorite children’s clothing retailers.

For example, this company, Kids With Style, offers completely free shipping on orders that are over $75.00. Make sure that you focus on hitting the free shipping minimum when you shop online by buying in bulk, like before the start of a new school year or holiday season.

2. Sign Up for E-Newsletters

Of course, if you really want to get the best kid clothes for half the price, we strongly suggest signing up for the e-newsletters of your favorite clothing brands.

You may receive a discount of anywhere from 10-50% just for signing up in the first place. Plus, you’ll also be among the first to learn about flash sales and in-store events where you can score the same clothes for less.

You may even be able to get coupons for things like you or your child’s birthday. Plus, if you can get your friends to sign up for their newsletter as well, you may get a discount code sent to you.

This way, you can find out about the trends in the bestchildren’ss clothes while also learning how to save!

3. Re-Create the Looks for Less

If you’re struggling with where to buy cheap baby clothes, then it’s probably because you haven’t yet explored the best option of all: thrift shops.

As a mom who loves to save, you have a hard time justifying shelling out some serious cash for clothing that your child may outgrow in less than a year.

And while you want to score inexpensive baby clothes, you also want your child to look stylish.

This is where thrifting comes into play.

After all, you’re not the only parent who has clothing that their child has already grown out of! You might be surprised by the high quality of design and brand names that you can find in your local thrift shop.

Check out this awesome guide for some incredible life hacks about how to thrift for children’s clothes. Remember that, if you don’t want to hit the thrift store, you can always hit up your mom friends for hand-me-downs!

4. Write Your Favorite Companies

You might be surprised by just how effective letting baby and kids clothing companies know how much you love their products can be.

If you have the time — and want to score some freebies — take the time to write to the brands you love and tell them why you love their clothes. Even if they don’t hook your kid up with a new wardrobe, they’ll likely send you a free piece or a coupon for a percentage off your next purchase.

You can also offer to write an online review in exchange for free products. You’ll get to test out the hottest trends on the children’s runway without having to pay the price!

5. Promote the Best Childrens Clothes on Social Media

Are you a popular mommy blogger? Do you have a larger following on social media? Do you run your own children’s product company?

If you have any kind of a strong digital presence, then you should leverage your Internet fame (no matter how A-list or D-list) in order to score free stuff from your favorite kids clothing companies.

Reach out to companies and offer to write a blog post on their best-selling clothes if they send them to you for free. Offer to upload a cute photo of your child wearing pieces from a new collection, and promise to promote the brand for a few months afterwards.

You’ll likely be surprised by how many children’s clothing companies ask you to become an official brand ambassador. Plus, the more times you do it, the more clothing companies will start to take notice.

Need More Ways to Save on the Best Kid Clothes?

Whether you’re on the hunt for inexpensive baby clothes, or just want to make sure that your six-year-old looks sharp for school picture day, we hope that you’ve learned it’s possible to get the look for less.

By hitting up the thrift shop, visiting coupon sites, or even just leveraging your own social media following, you can get fabulous deals on the best kid clothes.

Of course, we also know that children’s clothing isn’t the only thing that you’re looking to save some serious cash on!

Whether you want to find ways to cut corners on baby food, diapers, or even vacations for you and your other mom friends, we’re here to help you to make it happen.

Spend some time on our website and blog to find out more about how to spend less and experience more.

How to Shop For Clothes on a Budget With Kids

how to shop for clothes

Buying clothes for kids can be an expensive affair since they grow way too fast, especially during school holidays.

Fashion moves faster now than ever. This means clothes your kids couldn’t wait to wear just the other day may join the junk heap sooner than they did while you were growing up.

You like to see your kids grow but, then again, you hate the idea that they need new clothes every now and then. And it’s even more expensive if you’ve got a large family.

The truth is that it’s very easy to spend a small fortune on children’s clothes since you don’t always have an idea of what their sizes are and what’s in fashion.

However, you can still save a tidy sum of money when shopping for children clothes. Here are some tips on how to shop for clothes on a budget for your children.

Buy Off-Season

There are some items that you know your kid will need every year, such as seasonal clothing, jackets, and sweaters.

The perfect time to purchase those things is at the end of every season, but be sure to purchase them for the next year. Often in early spring you’ll notice summer clothes on sale, when the weather may not be appropriate for tanks and shorts.

This is when you should search the clearance and sales racks for sweaters, coats, long pants, and other winter outfits that are being cleared by the stores.

This cycle repeats every season, so always know when stores are getting rid for the next season’s clothes. You can save loads if buy kids clothes for the next year.

Accept Hand-Me-Downs

Most hand-me-downs are absolutely free! Speak to your family or friends who’ve got kids bigger or older than yours and see if they can give you outgrown clothes.

You can get so many clothes that you end up not buying clothes for your children for a few years. However, this doesn’t have to stop you from snapping up some great deals at thrift stores and yard sales here and there.

Shop Secondhand

Kids outgrow things so fast that they often are pretty much new even after they have been outgrown. While browsing through racks can take some effort, you can snag some real gems at very low prices if you’re up for it.

Great places to find used clothes include thrift stores, garage sales, and local online stores. You can also shop at both brick-and-mortar and online consignment stores to find brand-name attire at reduced prices.

And for some great deals on retro shirts and tees for your kids, be sure to check out companies like SE Apparel.

Buy in Bulk

There are websites and stores that offer discounts if you clothes in bulk.

When you buy in bulk, you can snag discounts. That’s the idea behind wholesaling!

Let’s Show You How to Shop For Clothes on a Budget

You don’t have to break the bank to ensure that your kids look amazing, so long as you become creative. There are lots of bargains to be had no matter the ages of your children.

Want to know how to shop for clothes inexpensively with your kids? Contact us today and let us know. We’d be glad to help.

How to Better Yourself: Thrifty Tips for Self Improvement

how to better yourself

This quote is simple, but we love it “Improvement begins with I”. Other than being a grammar lesson, this quote reminds us that only we can change ourselves.

But where to start? “I’ll just be a better person” isn’t a plan, it’s a sentence. Find actual ideas you can stick to in our how to better yourself guide below!

How To Better Yourself: The Tips

You don’t need a life coach, tons of money, or hours of free time to complete any of these tips. All you need is some determination, maybe a few phone apps, and a library card.

What are you waiting for? Get started!

Stay Reading

Have you ever heard the saying, “if you don’t use it you lose it”? It’s usually in reference to physical muscles. However, your brain is a muscle too.

Like the rest of your body, it needs a working and reading is the brain’s version of CrossFit. Reading is a simple skill we take for granted, but it takes patience, diligence, and imagination.

If you’re thinking “I’m reading this right now!” you’re not off the hook. When we talk about reading, we mean long-form content with a narrative and complex points.

If you can, always keep a book on you. People used to do this before cell phones and they were never bored. Pick books that teach you how to better yourself and you’ll be a better person page by page.

Learn a New Language

The world is more interconnected than ever and that’s giving people who speak multiple languages more opportunities. Wouldn’t you like to be one of them?

Yes, learning language is a hard skill, but it’s one of the best things you can do to improve yourself. Perhaps even better for your brain than reading, learning a different language grows your brain.

If you commit to this technique how to better yourself, you can expect a better memory and a longer attention span. There are even studies that show people who speak multiple languages live longer (or at least are with it for longer).

When you show yourself that you can improve yourself, it’ll increase your confidence. With easy apps like DuoLingo or Babbel, there’s no excuse not to improve yourself!

Further Your Education

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, though you shouldn’t refer to yourself as a dog! There is no age limit on learning.

Take it from Amy Craton, who was 94 at the time of her graduation. She went to school in the 60’s but had to stop to support her family through a divorce.

This cool great-grandmother took her education up five decades later and graduated with a 4.0 average. If she doesn’t think it’s too late for self-improvement, neither should you!

Thinking about going back to school or advancing your degree? Start by finding available states with legal studies programs.

To quote this awesome student,”If you’re thinking about going back to school, do it,” she says. “You’ll open up a whole new life.”

Early Bird Is a Better Person

Though this isn’t the official expression, people who get up earlier are more successful and productive. Just ask any self-improvement guru!

There are full movements featuring waking up early. One of our favorites is the Miracle Morning approach by Hal Elrod. He takes 10 minutes 6x in a row (one hour) to get his stuff out of the way.

He journals, does a quick work out, tracks goals, and says his affirmations. You can do these steps for 10 minutes each or as quick as one minute. What’re six minutes out of your day?

Workout

Yes, every self-improvement article there is will mention working out. Moving your body is that important!

You don’t have to chase a carrot on the treadmill though, working out can mean anything that gets your heart pumping. If you have kids, play tag with them!

Set a timer if you’re working up to constant cardio or play freeze tag so you can have breaks in between runs.

If you don’t want to do that, find something that you like to do. That’s the trick to the whole exercise thing. If you like to dance, find a Zumba class and shake your butt and feel silly.

Need an outlet for anger? Find a kickboxing class. Like sports? See if your rec-center has an adult league.

If you view working out as something fun, you’ll be more likely to do it!

Volunteer

Your mom always told you it was better to give than to receive, but who has the time? You do.

Even if it’s one afternoon a week or a month, there’s some organization that could use three hours of free help. If you’re young it’s resume fodder and if you’re grown, it’s money in the karma bank.

Plus (surprise!) it has health benefits. We’re talking mental and physical.

People who volunteer semi-regularly experience

  • Less chance of depression
  • A sense of purpose and fulfillment
  • An increase in self-confidence
  • Longer brain-life
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Dopamine rushes

Do you like to travel? The world-traveler lifestyle can be a tax write off! Look into voluntourism.

On these cross-globe trips, you have a huge range of activity choices. You can help farmers in rural France during the harvest or help marine biologists collect data.

With voluntourism (as long as you have the money to get there) everyone wins!

Start a Journal

Some of us have always been avid journalers, but the way we journal is changing. Traditionalists still prefer good old pen and paper, but keeping a digital journal works too.

You can write anything you want in your journal! Things that make you mad, happy, a play by play of your day – it’s up to you.

Through journaling, you see your weak spots or repetitive things in your life. You pay attention more to patterns or behaviors and teach yourself how to better yourself.

Don’t know where to start? There are plenty of journals that have daily prompts or writing exercises. You can find journal prompts online or find physical copies in the planner section of a bookstore.

We like the bookstore experience best since it allows you to flip through pages and see what you’re buying.

Cancel Meaningless Subscriptions

Subscription boxes are all the rage and it’s fun to get little presents in the mail every so often, but do you really need it? If you’re like us, those things end up accumulating and cluttering up precious space.

We’re not hating on them, it’s nice to have travel sized mascaras for trips, but you don’t need a new one every month!

If you have your payment linked through PayPal, you can go in and see what “Payment agreements” you’re in. Instead of having to remember your login information for random sites you can cancel through PayPal.

Not only will this save you money, but trying this trick makes us feel calmer when looking at our bank statements.

It seems small, but prioritizing your money is why you’re reading this blog, right?

Put the Screens Away

Yes, we said it. You limit your kids’ screen time, so why not your own? Even though your brain isn’t plastic and still-developing, constantly being plugged into devices is harmful.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty (and quite honestly scary) science, too much screen time is reducing your attention span. Depending on how you use it, it can even strain your eyes and give you wrinkles.

How much of a bummer is that?

Sleep experts like Ariana Huffington say to sleep with your phone in another room, but that’s not realistic. Instead, try moving your charger station to your dresser.

Not having your phone within arms reach will reduce the dead-time you look at your phone before falling asleep. At a playdate or waiting for school to get out? Pull that book out of your bag from step one!

Say No to Straws

Don’t have time to volunteer or don’t want to spend the extra money on organic plastic kids toys? You can still make a difference in the environment by saying no to straws.

We’ve been avoiding plastic grocery bags for years, but drinking straws can take just as long to biodegrade. A single, normal restaurant throws away 45,000 straws in one year.

That’s a ton! Plus, it’s adding up in our oceans and on our beaches. Approximately 90% of marine life has ingested plastic of some kind.

Want something to drive this point home? Google “Straw stuck in turtle” for a quick dose of heartbreak.

Now that you’re on board, tell your server you don’t need straws when they take your drink order.

Meditate

If any of the tips on this list are beneficial, meditation’s benefits lap them all. Why else would people still be doing it after thousands of years?

Want to know how to improve yourself through meditation? Get an app like Stop, Breathe, Think (free in app stores). This app and others like it have guided meditations the perfect lengths for beginners.

Say Yes to Self Improvement

Now that you’ve read this article there’s only one thing that determines if you’re going to improve yourself. Actually using one of these tips!

Getting ideas is great, but action speaks louder than words. Pick two things off of this list, something you can do right now and a longer-term option.

Knowing how to better yourself is a skill and we’ve just given you the cliff notes. Go out and be great!