5 Tips To Lower Your Credit Card Debt

credit card debtPaying for your daily coffee and that super cute pair of shoes with your credit card may seem easy at the time. Until the bill comes and you begin to feel the staggering weight of that little plastic card.

Credit card debt is no joke and it feels overwhelming to many people. 45% of Americans have credit card balances and they average about $15,956 per household.

Have no fear! There is a way to get out of debt quickly and I have some tips on how to do just that.

Read on to see how to get out from under the tremendous weight of your credit card debt in record time.

1. Stop Using Your Credit Cards

The most obvious of solutions, yet the most difficult to accomplish.

Many people use their cards for every purchase they make and the little charges can add up quickly.

Instead, pay for things with cash. Doing this will help you realize how much money you are actually spending and will eventually curtail your spending habits.

2. Set a Budget

The next step is to sit down and write out a realistic budget.

Start with your monthly income and subtract all your regular expenses such as rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, and any other bills you pay on a monthly basis.

Now that you see exactly where your money is going, you can see what things can be cut out of the budget so you can use the extra money to pay off your debt.

3. Transfer the Balance to Another Card

If you notice that one or more of your credit cards have extremely high interest rates, you should look into a different card with a lower interest rate.

Compare several different card options, such as a UOB credit card, to find the best deal. Some banks will even offer lower interest rates for a credit card balance transfer from another bank.

By doing this, your overall interest rate will be lowered and it will be much easier to pay off the new card with fewer fees being tacked on each month.

4. Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Another way to help lighten the load of your credit card debt is to consolidate your numerous balances.

You could take out a short-term personal loan to pay off those pesky credit cards. It is much easier to make one payment rather than to manage several bills that come in each month.

Often times a personal loan will also have a lower interest rate than the credit cards you’re trying to pay off.

Remember, lower interest rates means less money that gets added on to your debt each month.

5. Pay More Than the Minimum

The more you pay on your card each month, the better!

By paying more than the minimum required payment you are reducing the total amount owed. Since the interest charges are based on the total amount owed, this reduces the amount of interest being added on.

Aim for making payments that are double the minimum required payment each month. You could see the credit card debt melt away like ice cream in the sun.

Debt Free… Now What?

Now that you are on your way to a debt-free lifestyle, why not discover a way to improve and protect your credit rating?

4 Fun Summer Activities To Do With Your Kids This Year

fun summer activitiesWith the cold weather finally behind us, the school year is just about over. And as every parent knows, finding something fun to do with the kids is easier said than done, especially a few weeks into the break.

While video games and coloring books are fine for a temporary distraction, summer gives you the chance to spend some much-needed mommy time with your kids.

Want some tips on great activities you and your kids will both love? Here are four fun summer activities that will keep the kids busy and help you create long-lasting memories.

1) Go Swimming

Swimming is practically synonymous with summer, so grab some sunblock, towels, water, and beat the heat at your local pool.

If your neighborhood doesn’t have a local pool, check your city’s website. Most municipal areas have at least one public pool.

While splashing and playing Marco Polo can be fun, don’t forget to use pool time as a learning experience. If your kids don’t know how to swim, sign them up for swimming lessons.

It’s important that kids understand the basics of pool safety, and swimming is one of the best forms of exercise out there.

For your truly little ones, start off slow and don’t forget to check out the best life jacket for toddlers.

2) Pack a Picnic

If there are two things kids love, it’s snacking and playing outside. Why not combine the two by packing a cooler of drinks and snacks and going on a picnic?

Sitting with your kids and enjoying tasty treats is a great way to pass the time and keep your kids entertained. You can even have them help you prepare the food to make it an extra fun experience for all involved.

Head to your local playground or park and let the kids eat and play. You’ll get a few quiet moments to yourself while they’re playing and your kids get to burn off energy. It’s a win-win!

3) See a Movie

Of course, there are days where it’s just too hot to be outside. Sometimes all you want to do is sit in a dark theater enjoying the air conditioning.

While the movies can be an expensive outing, theater chains like AMC and Regal Cinemas tend to offer fun, family-friendly film festivals during the summer.

4) Camp Out in The Backyard

Camping is a great experience for people of all ages. But it isn’t always easy to find the time or money to head to the local campground.

Instead, get thrifty and host a staycation camping experience in your own backyard.

All you need is a tent, a flashlight, some healthy treats, and sleeping bags or blankets. Soon you’ll be all set for your evening under the stars!

Fun Summer Activities Don’t Have to Cost a Fortune

These four fun summer activities should keep your kids busy for weeks to come! And best of all, they’re fun for mom and dad, as well.

What are your favorite fun summer activities? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

And don’t forget to check out our Family Life section for more great tips on how to save money while raising a family.

5 Tips for Dating as a Single Parent

single parentLet’s face it, the thought of having to climb out of your comfy spot on the sofa to go on a date as a single parent isn’t one that lights up many peoples thoughts. Dating can be intimidating and something that as single parents, you push away.

After all, you have so many other things to focus on, how could you find time to begin dating again?

With 10 million single mother-led families in the United States, three times the number in 1960, it’s time we recognized that dating is something that you’ve been putting off.

To make the whole process easier, and to help single parent’s everywhere get the motivation they need to ditch the sweatpants in favor of something a little more flattering, we’ve put together this article.

Get ready for the five best tips you need for understanding how to date as a single parent.

Why Is Dating So Hard in 2018?

Before we can dive into understanding the best way to date, it’s first worth looking at why dating seems to be so challenging in 2018. With 19% of brides saying they met their spouse online, you’d think dating in the modern age was all about online dating.

In reality, many people think it’s all about dating apps and swiping, but there are still a lot of people founding relationships in the traditional manners. It takes a wider perspective to realize there are more options available than you think.

Here are The 5 Best Tips on Dating as a Single Parent

Dating doesn’t have to be difficult, use these five different tips to give yourself the best chance of finding the partner you deserve.

1. Don’t Go For The Cyber Checkout

Yep, you heard us, don’t put all your eggs in a cyber basket. In other words, don’t rely on online dating as your only means of dating. You might be asking yourself is eharmony worth it, or should Tinder be the only option?

One of the best ways to get out there and meet somebody who shares your interests is to join a group. You can still use the wonderful world of social to help you in this process.

Apps like Meetup are a great way to meet events and groups going on in your local area. Facebook groups are another fantastic way to become part of a community that meets up regularly.

Don’t be afraid to open the conversation flood-gates anywhere you are. It may seem like the zoo and the toy store aren’t the ideal love making zones, but a simple ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’ can go a long way in meeting people outside of your usual circles.

2. Trust Your Gut

If there is one thing that’s true about the human body, it’s that we have an uncanny ability to be right. Often you may find yourself saying, ‘I told you so’ to yourself after a bad situation but don’t forget to follow your instincts.

If your body is telling you to speak to that cute barista in Starbucks, it might be because your gut is right. Remember that as a single parent, your time is precious, valuable and limited.

When you’re out on dates, consciously ask your body “does this feel right?” You need to notice what sensations you feel in your stomach.

Remember that your body holds a lot of wisdom. If you notice anything that’s uncomfortable, trust your body and take note.

3. Don’t Wait to Long To Start Dating Again

Remember that re-entering the dating world can be a scary thing to do. One thing to consider though is that it’s sometimes easier to re-enter the dating world when you haven’t been alone for too long.

Once you’ve taken the necessary time to recover, why not try and get your feet wet? You don’t have to do it at a pace that you’re uncomfortable with, but just getting yourself back out there again can be an important step to take, to begin you back on that journey.

Sometimes people can get overly comfortable, especially as a single parent. This means when they re-enter the dating world, it brings with them a whole host of new complications.

Making sure you aren’t set in your ways and open to change can be a challenging thing to come to terms with, but remember you can start out slowly. Take it one step at a time, give yourself the chance to be in control and go at your pace.

4. Don’t Become Sexually Intimate Too Soon

Experts all over town will tell you this is a big one. Many people have a false understanding that sexual intimacy is a big part of dating.

We sometimes believe that no adult would be willing to wait for sex. Sometimes it’s because you might be craving the attention, other times it’s because we want not to disappoint.

What you need to remember is that sex bonds two people together emotionally. This can make it incredibly difficult to leave the relationship even if other aspects of your connection aren’t matching up.

Remember to not jump into bed with just any suitor, at least not until you are ready. If you want to take your connection emotionally to the next stage, trust your gut. Remember that a good match will wait for you, after all.

5. Nothing But The Truth

There is a very big difference between discretion and lying. This is especially important as a single parent.

If you think it’s ok to have extramarital sex when any questions come up with the kids, you should be able to answer them (appropriately to their age) why and under what terms. If you feel that you can’t do that, then you shouldn’t do it.

As with all things in life, behave as you want your kids to when they reach that early stage of adulthood. Remembering to be completely truthful is also an incredible way to communicate in relationships.

Telling a new partner exactly how you feel and at what pace you want to go helps them to be empathetic towards you and your situation.

Dating As a Single Parent Shouldn’t Be Hard

You know it shouldn’t be hard, but sometimes it is. Finding that fearless faith as a mother or father can be challenging. But, by understanding these five tips and how to implement them into your life could just make that hardship a little easier.

For more tips on everything family, check out our other posts.

How to Build a Steady Income With Freelance Writing

freelance writingIn today’s economy, more people are creating their own jobs than ever before. Freelance workers represent 35 percent of the current workforce.

While these numbers may shock the traditional nine-to-five, the reality of the situation is simple. Freelance work has never been more in demand.

Let’s take freelance writing, for example.

Blogging has become the go-to marketing strategy for businesses. As a result, freelance writers are now highly sought after.

The good news is, with a few key tools, anyone can become a freelance writer.

If the thought of earning money and avoiding the cubicle intrigues you, keep reading.

Today, we outline four proven strategies to build a steady income from freelance writing.

Set up a Portfolio Website

A writer without a website is like a surgeon without a scalpel.

Having an established website to display your portfolio is an essential tool for branding.

Think of it this way: if you want someone to buy your skills, then you need to show them why you are qualified. Describe what sets you apart from the competition, and why they should choose you.

Consider this: a recent study revealed that half of US millennials are taking part in freelancing work. For aspiring freelancers, this means your website must set you apart from the other writers.

Create a website that is eye-catching, easy to read, and displays your best work.

Settle on a Niche

Businesses seek writers who are specialists in their field. The more specialized your field, the more likely you are to be perceived as an expert and land high-paying clients.

Not exactly sure what your niche might be?

Start by reviewing your hobbies, resume, and previous work experience.

Let’s say you studied health and wellness in college, and spent the next five years working as an assistant to a naturopathic doctor. This is all relevant information that can act as the perfect foundation for your first blog post.

Read my tips for creating your first blog post to get started!

Target Repeat Customers

With freelance writing, the ultimate goal is to create stability – and get better at what you do.

The fact of the matter is, freelancing actually has the ability to create even more security than the traditional workforce.

Freelancers report that having a diverse portfolio of clients has created more stability as compared to having one traditional employer.

To do this, it’s essential to find repeat clients who are not just looking for one-time jobs. Instead, seek contract-based clientele that requires long-term projects.

Create a Strict Payment Schedule

The Freelancers Union recommends adhering to a strict payment schedule:

  • 30 percent upfront
  • 30 percent upon completion of first draft
  • 40 percent upon completion of the project

This ensures you are being paid a percentage of the project even if the project is cancelled. It also helps distribute your payments evenly and budget more appropriately.

Be sure to have an established invoice system that is simple and always delivered in a timely matter.

Start here by creating a free pay stub template to get started!

Build a Rewarding Career in Freelance Writing

Do you feel that freelance writing could be the right fit for you?

Whether you’re looking to work remotely or from home, the only thing standing between you and your first writing gig is you.

Start small and read our best tips for freelance productivity to get started!

4 Basic Skin Care Tips For Glowing Skin

skin care tips

With winter coming to a close, it’s time to take off those sweaters and reveal the skin we wear underneath.

And unless you’re one of the less than 10% of women who loves their skin, I’d guess you’re contemplating how hard it would be to wear a sweater through the summer months.

Here, I’m going to give you some skin care tips that will leave you feeling confident and ready to shed those second layers and embrace the sun.

Skin Care Tips For Your Face

We’ve all been there: rushing around trying to make sure everything is in order and the kids have their homework finished all while trying to make sure you’ve met your deadline.

In the rush of a busy schedule, you may have forgotten to wash off your makeup before bedtime – again. No big deal, right?

Actually, wearing your makeup that long can cause your pores to become clogged and dry out your skin.

A great product people have been talking about is the Aztec Indian Healing Clay. This is a product with a huge bang for your buck that works wonders for your skin.

Looking for fragrance and oil-free products can also be beneficial for the health of your skin because it can help you avoid irritation throughout the day.

1. Moisturizing

The average human has about twenty square feet of skin on their bodies. That means it’s time to get moisturizing!

There are different moisturizers for different skin types and you can find them all at affordable drugstore prices.

The best time to apply moisturizer is in the morning because it prepares your skin to take on the day.

2. You Wear What You Consume

A great way to keep your skin glowing all year around is adequate hydration!

Women should drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep their skin healthy and pure and to wash out toxins.

A great way to motivate yourself to drink enough water is to infuse it with your favorite fruits overnight like strawberries, blueberries or even cucumbers for a crisp, fresh taste.

3. Sweat Makes Healthy Skin

Exercise is a terrific way to make sure your skin is healthy and glowing.

Dermatologist Noelle S. Sherber says it’s because you’re supplying your body with oxygenated blood.

Sweat also unclogs your pores and helps reduce acne.

But remember to rehydrate!

4. I Dream of Glowing Skin

As if we didn’t a reason to sleep in already.

According to a study from Alaska Sleep Clinic, lack of sleep physically alters the appearance of your skin through increased cortisol levels which in turn cause the inflammation that breaks down the proteins in the skin.

These proteins are responsible for the shine. Thus, your skin appears ashy and blotchy.

Apparently, sleep is also a natural moisturizer. Through the perspiration that naturally occurs during the sleep cycle, your body is helping to smooth wrinkles.

Lack of sleep can target stress in the body and affect collagen in the skin. When collagen becomes thinner, skin starts to show signs of aging.

With these simple skin care tips, you’ll never feel the need sweat it out in long sleeves during Summer again.

Visit our blog Thrifty Momma Ramblings and follow us for more useful tips, giveaways, and services!

7 Star Wars Party Ideas for Real Jedi Masters

7 Star Wars Party Ideas for Real Jedi MastersAstonishingly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens made approximately $238 million during its opening weekend!

So it’s not surprising Star Wars is a favorite theme for parties! Whether you’re a die-hard fan, or you’re kids are- here are some fabulous star wars party ideas that we’re sure you’ll love.

Star Wars Invitation Ideas

It’s always best to start at the beginning, and there wouldn’t be a party unless you invited your guests!

If you have the time, we recommend making one of these fun star wars themed invites.

Lightsabers

For this design, all you need is an average size piece of white cardstock. Just cut it out into the shape of a lightsaber, and color the handle grey and the beam bright blue or green.

Then, print your party details using a silver marker on the beam. The silver stands out well against the bright colors and always fits in with sci-fi themes.

Picture Collage

Create a picture collage on a Word Document of your favorite Star Wars stills. On the second page insert, the details of your party.

Now, you can print your invites out- just make sure they’re double-sided.

This ensures your pictures are on the front and the party info is on the back!

Fun Masks

This one’s our favorite style of invite! Simply, punch a hole in the corner of your chosen form of invite and then attach it to a Star Wars-themed mask. This would also work for T-shirts.

For ideas, be sure to check out these t shirts for some inspiration!

Be sure to add on the invitations that your guests have to wear the masks to your party!

Star Wars Party Food Ideas

No party’s complete without food. Check out these on-theme delectables:

Edible Lightsabers

Grab a bag of large pretzel rods and cover three-quarters of each rod in either green, blue or red frosting. These look surprisingly authentic!

Jedi Jell-O

Make your favorite Jell-O flavor, once it’s cooled use Star Wars shaped cookie cutters to cut out your Jell-O. This treat always goes down well!

Ewok Food

This idea’s excellent if you’re short on time. Simply, rename trail mix as Ewok Food. Be sure to print out a label so your guests get it!

For more Star Wars party ideas, check this out!

Create Lightsaber Napkins

These are super easy to do, yet they’re really effective. All you need to do is to purchase block colored blue, green, and red napkins.

Then, Google ‘free lightsaber handle napkin printables’. When you find a design you like, print as many as you need. Cut them as required and wrap them around the napkin as necessary- secure with tape!

Then voila you have mini lightsaber napkins- super cute!

Did You Enjoy These Star Wars Party Ideas?

If you loved this article as much as we did writing it, then we’re confident you’ll enjoy the other features on my blog.

Be sure to type ‘party’ into the search bar, and then loads of other party ideas, hints, and tips will pop up.

Alternatively, if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, please feel free to reach out and contact me. I love hearing from readers- speak soon!

5 Reasons To See A Gynecologist

gynecologist

Did you know that gynecologists can help you with almost any female reproductive health problem you can think of? These doctors specialize in all things related to your reproductive system, from your hormones to your ovaries, to your period.

They are extremely helpful in helping you understand your body, as well as helping you prevent or obtain pregnancy.

Additionally, they can offer a variety of tips for you to stay on top of your overall health, as periods are actually an indicator of it.

A gynecologist is trained for several years in medicine, and there are few things that will shock them. Therefore, there isn’t a reason not to see one regularly.

In fact, here are five reasons you should see a gynecologist.

1. They Make Sure Everything Is Healthy

First off, these specialists will make sure everything appears healthy in your reproductive system. After you turn 21, you will receive your first pap smear which will check you for any cell abnormalities in your cervix.

They can tell you if there is anything you need to worry about in relation to your cycle or system.

2. They Can Help You Combat Period Problems

It is estimated that over 20% of women suffer from severe period pain and cramping.

Periods are not intended by nature to be terrible, painful events. Therefore, an OBGYN can talk with you about the pain you experience or any other symptoms such as irregular cycles or PMS.

3. They Will Test for Diseases

The truth is, any sexually active woman should get regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

It is better safe than sorry in most instances, even if you aren’t showing any symptoms of a disease.

4. They Can Help You Will Sexual Dysfunction

OBGYN and other specialists may be able to help you with sexual dysfunction, such as lack of libido or vaginal dryness.

One well-known treatment option for this issue specifically is the o-shot for vaginal rejuvenation, which stimulates cells in your nether regions by using your own plasma cells and blood.

5. They Answer Questions About Pregnancy and Birth Control

A gynecologist is specially trained to answer any questions you have about getting pregnant or avoiding pregnancy.

So, if you are concerned about what you should be doing to attain pregnancy, or you are curious about your options to avoid it, talk with this specialist.

Visit a Gyneocologist for The Health of It

In addition to your primary care provider, OBGYN’s are an essential part of your overall health.

They can answer specific questions about your reproductive system that a regular doctor can’t, and help you move forward accordingly.

Furthermore, they can help get you tested for any diseases or syndromes you may be experiencing, from infertility to PMS.

It is more important to ever to be on top of your female health, as this can very easily influence your overall health, and your monthly cycle can be affected by your environment.

For more ways to combat hormonal issues, check out our post on the best ways to treat adult acne.