Creating a Reward System for Kids They’ll Be Excited About

Calling all mothers! We love our jobs as moms, right? They’re challenging, exciting, unpredictable, fun.

There’s nothing like snuggling up to your kid with a movie or helping them through a problem. Getting them dressed for their first day of school or sending them off to their first sleepover. These are priceless moments that every mother loves to experience. 

But let’s all admit it — it’s not always that sweet. Sometimes we struggle with developing good habits or changing bad behavior. It’s all a part of coming-of-age.

Is a reward system for kids that effective? And if so, what happens when that kid turns into a teenager? 

We’re here to show you how to create a system that not only works but thrives. Keep reading!

Stickers and Tokens: An Effective Reward System for Kids

Using stickers or tokens is a proven tactic for developing habits or skills. This entails giving one sticker per one task (discussed in advance). You can lay stickers out on a homemade sheet.

This method is especially helpful for areas of resistance. These incentives help bridge the gap between “not wanting to do” and “getting to do.” 

Tokens, like those at www.thetokenshop.com, work best for young children until about 4 years old. Remember, it’s called a reward for a reason. Give your child praise, congratulations, and encouragement all the way through!

Once a child gets a little older, you can have them trade in tokens. The incentive doesn’t have to cost you anything. It could mean making their favorite snack or getting a play date at the playground.

From Stickers to Checks

Preteens love to decorate their school binders with stickers. They don’t exactly see them as an appropriate reward any longer. After all, “they’re all grown up” (*Insert Mom smirk here*)!

You can keep the same idea as the token system.

Replace tokens for something more age-appropriate, like checkmarks. Keep a list of designated chores or tasks somewhere visible. Have them check off daily or weekly activities. 

Like children, you can turn check marks into rewards. Encourage your child to finish their homework, get to bed on time, have good behavior in school. If these get completed, they can stay up late on weekends, have friends over, watch TV.

Try to pick rewards that don’t center around money (and not only because that saves you money!). Instead, choose valuable things like one-on-one time or a favorite hobby.

From Checks to Young Adulthood

Reinforcing good behavior helps ensure that it’ll continue. Rewarding your teen for doing well teaches them how to make positive life decisions. Show them they’re on the right track by offering positive reinforcement. 

Oh. And don’t forget those rewards! Some good ones for teens include:

  • A later curfew
  • Getting to sleep in
  • Cooking their favorite foods
  • Letting them play on the computer or watch TV
  • Time with friends
  • Cell phone privileges

Use your best parental judgment to choose a reward. And talk with your teen along the way! One of the best things you can do when rewarding your child is being clear and communicative.

Parenthood: It’s so Rewarding

When it comes to choosing a reward system for kids, it’s not one-size-fits-all. And that’s a good thing. Talk with your child and together, develop a system that works for them

If you haven’t already, start today! And don’t forget to reward yourself too, Mom.

Being a mother is a tough job. But you’re tougher. Here’s how to find that fearless faith!

Being Proud and Loud About Your Post Baby Body

The average woman will gain up to 35 lbs during pregnancy. Which is why its only natural that your post baby body will look different than your pre-baby body.

This doesn’t mean you can’t learn to love everything that comes with your new mommy body. Here are some of our best tips for being proud of your new physique. 

Give Your Post Baby Body Time

You’ve spent 9 (well, more like 10) months leasing your body out to it’s new “tenant” and now you’re ready to get your body back. However, it may surprise you to find that the day after delivering your baby, you still look at least 7 months pregnant.

First, give yourself some time. Even after giving birth it will still take your uterus weeks to return to its original size, and your body will gradually be releasing water during this time. Have patience

Throw Away the Scale

You may be anxious to get to your “pre-baby weight”, which is a great goal. However, the scale isn’t the greatest way to measure this goal. As we stated, in the beginning, you’ll be retaining lots of water that will be showing up on the scale as well.

Once you are clear to work out, muscle may also play a role in what looks like weight gain or stalled weight loss. To save your sanity, throw away the scale. Instead, take photos and measurements of your body every 1-2 weeks to better track your progress.

Show Your Body Some Gratitude

The best way to gain some new perspective on your post-baby body is by showing it some gratitude. Whether you went through a c-section or vaginal birth, your body has undergone a major feat.

In many countries, women still have a slim likelihood of surviving pregnancy let alone childbirth. Look at your little miracle and show your body some gratitude for getting you through one of the harshest known physical demands.

Ease Back into a Healthy Routine

Sometimes feeling like yourself again can be as simple as taking care of yourself. Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, start off with a morning walk and ease into workouts.

If you are breastfeeding, it’s not recommended to cut your calories too dramatically as your baby still needs the nutrients. Instead, try to reduce the amount of processed food and your diet and stick to natural and organic choices instead.

Step Away from Social Media

Social media, gossip magazines, and celebrity news are the fastest ways to throw your self-esteem into the trash. It’s hard enough not to compare yourself to other women without being flooded with images of “snap back” moms.

While it’s lovely that a known supermodel was back on the runway weeks after childbirth, it’s important to remember these celebrities also have teams of nutritionist, trainers, and nannies to help them get back in shape in records time. Also, no two bodies are the same so try to avoid the comparison.

Get a Mommy Makeover

Sometimes additional factors, like diastasis recti, can make it virtually impossible to get your body back without some additional help. If you are having difficulty feeling good about your mom-bod, it may be time to turn to the professionals.

A mommy makeover includes plastic surgery methods that focus on the more problematic areas of the “mom bod” such as the breasts and extra stomach skin.

Adjusting to Mommy Life

Learning to love your post baby body is just one of the many ways to adjust and enjoy your new life as a mom. While juggling it all may seem like a handful, the sweet moments with your little one will make it all worthwhile.

For more on living your best mom life, we suggest checking out our blog on Finding Fearless Faith as a Mom. 

 

Affordable Gifts That Look Expensive: 5 Ideas in Every Price Range for the Thrifty Shopper

Sometimes in life, we’ve got to buy a gift for the fancier person in our lives. Those are usually the times when we don’t have the money to support their fanciness. 

Never fear, though, because we’re here for you. You don’t always have to buy an expensive gift to give what looks like an expensive gift. This is a godsend for those who are on an eternal budget. 

We’ve got you covered with 5 ideas for affordable gifts that will look like you broke the bank.

Affordable Gifts That Look Expensive

Hopefully, one of the following options below will be what you need. Everyone’s different, though, so make careful choices with your gifts. That said, look over the following options:

1. Airplant Holders 

Airplants are essentially plants that don’t have to sit in a bunch of soil and can sustain themselves to a certain degree. The holders for these can be really unique without the need to hold soil. 

Diamond shaped hangers are always a great option and seem very fancy. Because airplant holders are so new, they all seem unique and high-end, even though they are very inexpensive. 

In fact, airplants and their holders are cheaper than traditional plants and their holders. 

2. Vintage Prints

Even vintage looking prints will do. The point is, art that appears to be dated is always a good gift for the artistic person in your life. 

Take a dip into a local antique shop and see what they have in the art department. There will be a lot of really expensive pieces, but you’re likely to find a few on the cheaper end of things as well. 

Further, old art is pretty cool. Styles change and the thing you select might not be something that the recipient has ever seen before. 

3. Relevant Books

There’s nothing more thoughtful than suggesting learning about a topic that you care about, or that you think your friend or loved one would care about. 

Books are extremely cheap gifts and can be meaningful for a number of reasons. Make sure that you put some thought into what the person would like, though, because a random book is definitely not a great gift.

4. Silky Robe

What’s classier than a silk robe? Well, “silky” might be a better term to use. 

Real silk robes could be a little too pricey for you, but silky robes will do the trick. It can be given as a gag gift, but you know that whoever receives that gift is going to wear it. Who wouldn’t?

If you’re trying to make it a little fancier, try adding some Lab Grown Diamonds for a good way to add a little class.

5. Off-Brand Candle

Getting a candle for someone is perfect if they can’t recognize the brand. It’s impossible to know how expensive a candle would be. 

That is if the brand is relatively unknown and the packaging seems minimalist or fancy. It might be wise to buy a bunch of cheap candles that look fancy to keep for backup!

Need More Ways to Save?

Affordable gifts are just one way to save money in your everyday. You’d be surprised at how much a little thought can save you in the rest of your life, however. 

Visit our site for ideas on how to save money. 

From Inheritances to Big Raises: Motivation to Save Money When You’ve Hit It Big

Did you know the average American household has over $137,000 in debt?

It’s no wonder that if a person receives unexpected money they want to figure out how to get rid of their debt but still have extra money.

Did you receive a big inheritance or get a big bonus? Don’t waste it!

Keep reading for the motivation to save money when you’ve hit it big.

Getting the Motivation to Save Money

Everyone can use extra money because, while money isn’t everything, it’s needed to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. Receiving a big bonus, winning the lottery, earning a raise or getting an inheritance means your life can become a bit easier financially. The motivation to save money in these circumstances is when you realize how much it can benefit you.

Financial Goals and Plan

No matter how skilled you are at managing your money, you want to take the time to develop a financial plan. Take time out and be honest with yourself.

Identify bad financial habits that have not helped you in the past. Avoid making these mistakes again whether you have a new inheritance or the results of the lottery left you with tons of money. The main goal is to not randomly spend your new found money—you want to make the best out of it to enjoy it.

Tackle Debt

Outstanding debt includes credit card payments, mortgage, and student loans. Take a look at the interest rates for all of your current debts and figure out which ones have the highest rates. You will want to save money in the long run by paying off the debts with the highest interest rates.

There might be some instances that your monthly payment might be paying all interest and nothing towards your actual debt. These are the first debts you want to tackle.

If you’re paying no interest or extremely little interest on certain debts, then you might consider investing some of the money short term before tackling that specific debt.

Emergency Account

Make sure to take time out to fund your emergency account or create one with your extra money. Emergency accounts should have a minimum of six months worth of living expenses that you can touch in case of an emergency. You might want to fund the emergency account and give yourself peace of mind before doing anything else with the money—even before tackling debt.

Setting up and having an emergency fund will keep you out of debt. If there’s an emergency, you will have the money to pay for it vs putting the emergency on a credit card and owing money. 

Try to keep your emergency money in an account that’s more difficult to access. You can open a separate checking account in a credit union or bank to still be able to access it in case of an emergency. You can also keep it in a certificate of deposit or a savings bond, but it’s not as easily accessible as a bank or a credit union.

Plan for Retirement

Something to think about when you earn a raise or an inheritance is your 401(k) contribution. Putting the money towards retirement into a 401(k) is a smart way to save money because it’s all pre-tax.

If you have an employer that matches your retirement money if you contribute a certain amount, make sure to take advantage of this by increasing your contribution. If you don’t do this then you are essentially losing out on free money.

It’s a good idea to talk to an investing pro to learn about the best options for investing money towards retirement. There are 401(k) options and also Roth IRAs which can grow tax-free and can be used tax-free after retirement. To figure out which one is best for you with your newfound money, make sure you talk to a pro about it.

Have Some Fun

It’s ok to treat yourself. If you received an unexpected inheritance, buy a bottle of champagne and toast your benefactor. After your toast to say thank you, don’t go on a spending spree because you will regret it. 

Whatever your definition of fun is, whether it’s a vacation or a shopping spree, write it down as part of your financial plan to revisit later, and see if it’s worth it to you to spend your fun money on that. You’ll be surprised how quickly you might change your mind and choose another option. 

Whatever option you choose, make sure it’s a one-time fun purchase instead of increasing future bills. For example, instead of getting into a higher car payment which will affect your future finances, go for a one time option such as buying tickets to a concert or a cruise.

If you’re not sure how much to set aside as your fun money, 5-10% after-tax money is appropriate. Depending on how much your newfound money is, this can be equivalent to a brand new phone upgrade, a nice vacation, or paying for your next new car with cash.

Don’t Spend It All at Once

The last thing you want to do is spend your bonus, raise, inheritance, or lotto winnings all at the same time. There’s no reason to leave yourself with nothing and have nothing or not much to show for it. Give yourself some time to acclimate to your new earnings before spending it all and have the motivation to save money.

Do you want more information on saving money and stretching your money as much as possible? Check out our blog for more tips and ideas.

Yes, It’s Possible! Here’s How to Get a Prescription Without Going to the Doctor

In 2018, there were a total of 4.19 billion retail prescriptions filled in the United States. Come 2024, experts forecast this’ll grow to a whopping 4.57 billion.

We (especially our wallets) all feel the impact of this growing need for and cost of prescription meds. Last year, U.S. consumers spent an estimated average of $472 billion buying these drugs.

That doesn’t even include the $$$ we spend on gas or commute to see our doctors to get a written prescription.

Lucky for you, there are now ways on how to get a prescription without a doctor.

You read that right! Today, you can skip the long queues at emergency departments or clinics to see a doctor. But still, secure that prescription.

Ready to learn how? Then let’s get right into it!

Through Telemedicine: Today’s Way of “Visiting the Doctor”

You may have heard of telemedicine as “telehealth” or “digital health”. This medical practice uses telecommunications technology to assess, diagnose, and treat patients. It was born from the need to give patients in remote areas quicker access to medical services.

Today, the global telemedicine technology market is worth $31.8 billion. Experts say this will grow almost 2.5 times to $77.2 billion in 2022.

And for many good reasons. First, it’s the most convenient way for patients to get professional medical help. They can have a doctor give them a “check-up” without them even leaving their homes! This is especially helpful for those with limited mobility or is in isolation.

A Quick Look at How Telemedicine Works

Say you have back pain, the reason behind the loss of 264 million work days every year. You’re in so much pain you can’t move a muscle and get out of bed. If you can’t even stand up, there’s no way you’ll be able to visit the doctor.

But you want to relieve your low back pain ASAP because it’s already meddling with your affairs. OTC pain relievers may not be that much help, so you need something stronger, like NSAIDs. The problem is, these are prescription medications.

Enter telemedicine, your virtual doctor’s visit.

The doctor, through a video call, will assess your condition. But first, they’ll check your family and medical history and ask for your vitals. From there, you should share all the details about your back pain, like when it started and your symptoms.

After evaluating you, the doctor can then determine if you need stronger medications. If so, then you get a prescription written online. The doctor can send this through various ways, from emailing it to you or sending it via the video platform.

Note that telemedicine doctors provide urgent care health services. Meaning, they can treat all common, but non-life-threatening conditions and injuries. If you need to, you can get a prescription online from these virtual doctor’s visits.

You can even set an appointment with an online dermatologist for your skin issues! That way, you won’t put your skin at even more risk by exposing it to pollution or the sun’s harmful rays.

If you think you have an emergency health condition, dial 911! Especially if you’re experiencing symptoms associated with heart attacks or strokes. Telemedicine is convenient, but it can only help with urgent and not emergency care.

How to Get a Prescription Without a Doctor: Online Pharmacies Can Help

There are many health problems we’d like to keep between ourselves and our doctors. Sexual dysfunction in women is one such problem many feel embarrassed to talk about. If you’re one of the 40% of U.S. women who suffer from SD, you likely don’t want to get your meds from your local pharmacy.

You can turn to legitimate online pharmacies in such cases. But they still need to see your prescription, which a U.S.-based and -licensed doctor should have issued. If you can’t give them a copy right away, then all you need is to leave your doctor’s contact info with them.

They’ll be the one to ring up your doctor to request for the copy of your prescription. Your doctor can then email or fax the prescription to the pharmacy. Once the pharmacy has it, they can start processing your order and have it delivered to your doorstep.

To save even more money, consider working with a reputable canadian pharmacy. The best Canadian e-pharmacies offer huge discounts, which can save you 50% to 80% on your drugs! They can issue up to 90-days’ worth of supply, so best to take advantage of that to pay only one shipping fee.

Prescription Refills Over the Phone

In the U.S., doctors can refill most prescriptions for drugs without having to see their patients. They can do this over the phone, which means you don’t have to go see your doctor in person!

There are some drugs that they can’t refill over a phone call though, so make sure yours aren’t one of them.

Electronic Prescriptions

Electronic prescriptions, such as those produced by computer, are also legal. You don’t have to go on an actual doctor’s visit, but the physician should hand sign the prescription. Or, they can affix an electronic signature on the document.

So, if you’re wondering how to get amoxicillin without seeing a doctor, this is one way to do it. You can also have your doctor fax it to your pharmacy of choice and then have the pharmacy ship it to you.

Ordering Prescription Drugs Now Made Simpler

Thanks to technology, you now have several ways on how to get a prescription without a doctor. You no longer have to spend an average of two hours in the ED in the hopes of getting a prescription. You also don’t have to force your sick and tired body to visit your doctor in person.

So, the next time you need a prescription but can’t see your doctor, follow our tips above! They’re the fastest (and safest) way to getting the medicines you need to get back on your feet.

Looking for more time- and money-tips to keep your health in check? Then check out this guide we have on making healthy, money-saving choices!

Fitness over 50: 10 of the Best Workout Apps for Women 50+

At the last count, there were more than three hundred thousand fitness apps available to choose from. They’re great motivators and the ultimate ‘grab and go’ accessory for busy people on the move.

Let your fitness app become your new gym buddy. Think of the amount of time you’ll save by not having to travel to a health club to do your workout. And no more expensive monthly fees either.

Spoilt for choice? On your marks. We’re here to give you the lowdown on ten of the best workout apps for women over fifty.

1. My Fitness Pal

Two things are going to help you lose weight and keep trimmer for longer. Firstly you need to exercise several times a week. Next count the number of calories you eat and keep a record of them.

This app has a food database that holds more than 5 million items. It also has a bar code scanner. That makes it simple to keep a food diary whether you’re in the supermarket or at home or in a restaurant.

You can also import healthy and creative recipes. You can sync the app with other tools like the Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale or the Fitbit Aris smart Scale. These will measure your weight loss and body mass index too.

2. Map My Walk 

Walking at a brisk pace is a great way to keep in shape. This app uses the GPS in your smartphone. It’ll then work out routes for you and keep a record of the ones you choose.

As well as telling you how fast you walked and for how long, it’ll also let you know how many calories you’ve used. Your history is safely stored so you can measure your progress. Other variations are Map My Run and Map My Ride for cyclists.

3. Fitbit

This is another multiplatform app that lets you track the exercise you take, your diet and weight. It has a great extra feature that monitors your sleeping habits. That helps build a complete picture of your fitness level.

There are add-on Fitbit devices you can buy to track all your movements. You can also sync all your data with other computers. There’s even a way to compete with friends who have Fitbit accounts too. 

4. Yoga Poses

This app will show you two hundred and fifty different yoga poses. They all come with video demonstrations. You can modify some of them if you’re just starting out. The app gives you details on how each pose can benefit you.  

It’s a great app if you prefer learning by yourself and in the comfort of your own home.

Learn more here about another great yoga app as well as more apps that are going to teach you new skills and fitness techniques. 

5. Endomondo

This is a great social fitness app and will let you monitor your fitness and health stats. It’ll track your running routes, the distances, durations as well as your calorie intake. It can also monitor your favorite activities from kayaking to hiking.

The app can help to analyze your current performance and give you recommendations to help you improve. Let your phone become your personal trainer. You can connect with other users with instant messaging too.

6. 7 Minute Workout

This fitness app is incredibly popular. You can lose weight and keep fit with quick workouts that are easy to follow.

You have a choice of twelve high-intensity bodyweight exercises. Each takes thirty seconds and there’s then 10 seconds of rest time in between. It combines cardio and strength training but you won’t need any special equipment. 

7. Pilates Anytime

This is great if you’re new to pilates and want to really drill down into the moves.  A series of videos carefully explains things. It gives you that bit of extra time that you might not get in a group setting.

If you’re already a Pilates genius, then you can select one of two and a half thousand classes. Firm favorites like foam roller workouts and basic mat routines are included.

8. GymGoal

If you bring weights into your workout you can help to retain and build muscle, flexibility, and strength. These are real benefits as we begin to age. Adding extra protein to your diet will help your muscle develop with this type of exercise.

This app is going to teach you the correct form for lifting weights. That’s going to decrease the likelihood of injury. A library of workouts can also be accessed. These can be modified to suit your ability and aims.  

9. Couch to 5K Running App

This is a great app for people who want to start running at a gentle pace. There’s a nine-week program that includes three thirty minute sessions each week. There are four different virtual coaches to choose from. 

The app alternates running, walking and resting. As you progress, the exercise periods increase and the resting time decreases. It’s a really effective way to develop a passion for running.

Remember to pack in the carbs early on the day. You’ll need them when you progress to a half marathon or marathon!

10. You Are Your Own Gym

The best selling book by Mark Lauren forms the basis for this app. His bodyweight exercises were used by him to train the most elite levels of the U.S. Special Operations. 

There are over two hundred bodyweight exercises to choose from. You can get into great shape with as little as thirty minutes of training a day.  You will be guided you every step of the way. There are high-quality demonstration videos.

The warm-up and cool down videos come free. You can purchase the circuits, timed sets and ladders packs separately. They’re available at three different difficulty levels.

Our 10 Best Workout Apps for Women over 50

It’s no time for excuses. You’ve now got some of the best workout apps for women over fifty on the market. It’s time to start building up a sweat the easy way and without those expensive gym fees.

Visit us here for more money saving health and fitness tips. You’ll soon be looking and feeling great without breaking the bank. 

Save Money on Coffee: The 4 Most Affordable Foods for Brain Health

When you think about eating a healthy diet, your first thought is probably your thighs or stomach. Ironically, many people will ignore their own brains. 

Did you know the foods you eat have a profound impact on your neurological functions? It’s true! 

You may have heard parents and teachers talk about brain food, but you may have wondered what that meant.

Do you want to improve your mental clarity? Do you want to avoid neurodegenerative diseases later in life? Start thinking about the foods you eat every day.

Continue reading below to find out about the best foods for brain health. 

1. Nuts and Seeds 

You can eat your nuts and seeds raw or unroasted. In either form, they offer a source of vitamin E to add to your diet. 

Vitamin E is known to reduce your chances of neurological decline in the future. Some nuts, like walnuts and almonds, are expensive, so you may wish to choose different types of nuts or seeds. 

As an alternative, choose peanuts, natural peanut butter, or sunflower seeds. Your choices are nearly endless, and you can always look for the best deals. 

2. Oranges and Other Citrus Fruits 

A medium orange contains enough vitamin C to satisfy your daily needs. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it fights off free radicals. 

Free radicals in your body can destroy healthy cells, including brain cells. If you want to combat the process, you need a diet rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C. 

Other foods rich in vitamin C include tomatoes, kiwis, and strawberries. 

3. Eggs 

What better food to help start your day than an egg, right? Eggs contain several important compounds linked to improved brain health. These include vitamins B6 and B12, choline, and folate. 

As a bonus, eggs don’t cost very much compared to other kitchen staple items. You can save more on eggs when you buy from discount stores or in bulk. 

Just remember to store them properly. 

4. Green Tea 

As an alternative to coffee, you may choose to drink green tea. Green tea is high in a compound known as L-theanine, which increases the activity of a neurotransmitter GABA

L-theanine counteracts the stimulating effects of caffeine when you drink green tea. It also increases alpha waves in your brain, leading to relaxation and less fatigue

If you’re looking for a source of caffeine that makes you feel better, green tea is a great solution for neuronutrition, neurofatigue, and more.  

Foods for Brain Health and Thrifty Moms 

When you think about eating healthy foods, you may find yourself concerned with cost. Taking care of your health doesn’t have to put your financial health at risk. You just need to know where to look. 

You can find the above foods for brain health at reasonable prices in most grocery stores. From here, there’s so much more to learn about frugal living and finding the best deals. 

Do you want to learn more about finding great deals every day for the thrifty mom? Check out the cooking section of our blog.