IMAG0032

When I first had my son, my house was always neat, clean, and orderly, but the older my son gets the more that is slowly becoming a fading memory. Living at home with a toddler is a full time job whether you work or are a stay at home mom. Once my son learned to walk, my house looked like it blew up. He was getting into everything. I couldn’t get one thing picked up before he was ready to pull out the next. My “free” time has dwindled more and more the older he gets. So I’m having to learn how to keep my house organized and clean without spending all of my time doing that. As I’ve mentioned, my son is only 15 months old, so I’m still learning. However, I wanted to share a few things I’m learning along the way.

 

1. Teach your kid what he/she can and cannot touch.

At first, I just taught my son what he could and could not touch based on safety concerns. I am slowly learning that he just shouldn’t get into stuff for the pure fact that he shouldn’t get into it. In order to manage my life, I have learned that he can’t have full reign over everything and I have to set limits based on the fact that my life can’t revolve around picking up his messes.

2. Set times to pick up your house.

As I said before, my life revolved around picking up after my son when he first learned to walk. I’m pretty sure I could spend 12 hours a day picking up after him if I let myself, but I would get nothing else done. Therefore, unless I have company coming, I am learning to set 2-3 times per day to pick up after him. I tried once a day and that seemed to be a bad idea because it took me too long to clean up. The 2-3 times per day seems to be the perfect amount to keep the house sane while not working myself to death.

3. Teach your kids to do age appropriate chores.

It’s amazing to me how quickly kids pick up on things. My son is only 15 months old and has already learned to put his clothes in the hamper and occasionally helps put some of his toys away. Obviously, he is still learning so I can’t expect perfection, but I don’t think it’s too early for him to pick up on some good habits. I’m having to learn to let go of the reigns sometimes and let him clean up after himself. Sometimes it just seems easier if I just do it (you know so the clean clothes don’t end up in the hamper too), but I do think it’s important for him to learn to do chores that are suitable for his age.

4. Plan out your week to allow for cleaning time.

As far as actual cleaning (i.e. dusting, vacuuming, etc.), I’ve learned that planning is the key. I usually set one morning to get all my basic cleaning done and then get my deeper cleaning done at various times throughout the month. I’ve found that if I don’t allot time for cleaning, it just doesn’t get done. I encourage you to sit down and write out a schedule for yourself so time doesn’t get away from you.

5. Don’t expect Perfection.

I am a perfectionist at heart, so this was a hard pill to swallow. I have learned that sometimes good is good enough. It doesn’t have to always be perfect.

 

I would love to hear some more tips and time savers in keeping a clean home, so please share in the comments section below or submit in the Submissions area.

 

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

presents

Are you a creative person?  Do you have talents that could help other people? Do you like to coupon and find deals? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be able to use your gifts or talents to save money.

I don’t know about you, but I know gift giving can be a big expense in my household budget between birthdays, Christmas, weddings, baby showers, and the list goes on. So instead of paying for these presents, consider using your creative talents to make an one-of-a-kind, unique present for these occasions.

At the baby shower for my son, I received several handmade blankets and quilts which my son loved.  These individuals used their sewing skills to make my son a present. What a great idea! Or maybe you are good at photography? Consider taking a family or child’s portraits as a gift giving option. Or maybe you are handy around the house or outside? Consider giving your time to helping someone clean, organize, or decorate areas around their house. The list of skills and talents goes on and on. Find what you are good at and think about the gifts that you could give.

Maybe you read through this article and thought to yourself, “I’m not really creative at anything” (which you probably are but just can pinpoint your unique specialty). Or maybe you thought, “I don’t have time to use my skills as a gift option.” Instead, use your deal finding or couponing skills to get relatively inexpensive gifts. When you spot freebies or cheap items that you may not need, hold onto them and stock up on gifts that you could use for various occasions. I have actually received big baskets of useful household items as Christmas presents before, which turned out to be some of the best presents I had ever received. So when you get these items, really think through how you could put them together to make some really great presents.

Do you have a way that you have saved on gift giving? Have you received a really thoughtful, unique present someone made for you? Please share in a comment below or in my Submissions area.

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Search Online Deal & Travel Sites.

Many times you can find awesome deals on sites such as Groupon. Taking the time to search the internet can prove to be very effective much of the time in comparing prices to find the best deal available. Also take advantage of travel sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Booking.com, etc. to help find a place that has the amenities, price and location that’s right for you. Also, I have found that calling travel or rental agencies can sometimes help you find deals that aren’t publicized.

If you have found a way to have an affordable vacation, leave a comment below or submit your idea in my Submissions area.

To read other tips in this series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #6 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #7 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #8 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #9 (Series)

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Swap Date Nights with Friends.

I know this isn’t exactly a vacation, but occasionally a date night without the kids can certainly be relaxing. Therefore, we are counting date night as a mini vacation. I have had this idea recommended to me many times. Fortunately, I have family relatively close that can watch my son when my husband and I go on a date. For those who don’t have this advantage, if you have friends with kids that live nearby, arrange a date night swap. You can watch their kids and they can watch your kids on different nights to give each other a break. By doing this, you will save on sitter costs and be able to work in that much needed date night.

If you have a tip for saving on vacation costs, please comment below or submit in my Submissions area.

 

To check out the other articles in this series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #6 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #7 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #8 (Series)

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Save, Save, Save!

Okay, so I know this one sounds obvious, but many times vacation time rolls around and we either use money dedicated for something else, don’t go on vacation, or charge it on a credit card that we can’t afford to pay back. I can’t stress enough the importance of savings. I love to have specific savings accounts for specific purposes, that way I can keep track of my progress on my savings goal. I encourage you to either set up an account or keep a detailed list of all the money set aside for vacation savings. By doing this, you can make sure that your vacation money doesn’t just slip away into other various costs that pop up here and there. And by having that money set aside, you avoid either having to skip vacation all together or winding up with credit card debt that you can’t pay back. Not to mention, if you have it in an account, you may be able to earn a little interest on that money. Every little bit counts, right?

If you have a tip on having an affordable vacation, either submit it in my Submissions area or leave a comment below.

To read the other tips in the series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #6 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #7 (Series)

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Make and bring food from home.

 

I know it’s quite an inconvenience sometimes to bring food along with you on a trip versus eating out or grocery shopping when you get there, but it can save quite a bit of money. If you coupon, you can score deals leading up to your vacation for stuff you know you will need (i.e. food, condiments, paper products, toiletries, etc.). Planning out your meals and other necessities in advance has been a money saver for me. My family went to the beach earlier this summer and because of pre-planning we were able to bring a big chunk of our necessities in advance and spend a very minimal amount on these items while we were on vacation. As far as a time saver, you could even make some food in advance and plan to cook it in a crock pot so you don’t have to take time away from your relaxing vacation to cook.

If you have found ways to have an affordable vacation, please comment below or submit them in my Submissions area. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for tip #8 in this 2 week series.

To read the other tips in this series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #6 (Series)

 

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Go with Friends or Family and Split the Cost.

If you have some close friends or family that you wouldn’t mind spending some time with, then take a vacation with them and split the cost. You could easily save on gas by riding together. Also, you could possibly rent a larger hotel room/suite which would hopefully make the total room costs less when split amongst everyone. Finally, it may be able to save you on food if you are going somewhere where you would be making your own meals.

If you have found a way to cut on vacation expenses, please submit it in the Submissions area or in a comment below.

To read the other tips in this series, please click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4 (Series)

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #5 (Series)

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Use Credit Card Points.

IF you are responsible with a credit card and can keep up with the payments, a credit card can actually be quite the moneymaker. My husband and I use credit cards for just about everything so we can rack up on the points. We pay the card off at least twice a month to ensure that we don’t pay any interest or fees. When choosing a credit card, be sure to research all the rewards it has to offer. You may even find that some will even offer quite a hefty sign-on bonus. Just be careful to always look through the fees and make sure the good outweighs the bad as some cards may charge an annual fee. We take the points that we earn and cash them in for money that we apply to our vacation. As with the other tips, this in and of itself may not fully pay for a vacation, but if you combine it with some other tips in this series then you may be able put quite a dent in your vacation costs.

To read previous articles in this series, click on the links below:

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #4

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #3

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #2

10 Ways to Have an Affordable Vacation: Tip #1

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Use Websites & Apps to Pay for Vacation Expenses.

Go to my article on Making Money with Websites & Apps and find some that will work with your schedule. While you probably won’t make a lot of money off these apps, I earn a few extra dollars and gift cards here and there. You will be surprised at how quickly this can add up. Even if you don’t make enough to pay for all of your vacation expenses, it could help make a small dent. Click here to link to my other article.

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

vacapic

Go on vacation in off-season.

If you are in a position to do so, you can usually find some pretty great deals on vacation spots in off, non-peak seasons. Depending on the vacation spot, a lot of times you can find good deals during the school year. For example, many places start dropping prices after labor day. If you have young children not of school age yet or no kids living in the house, this may be an ideal time to go. Not only do you save costs, but a lot of times places are less busy during these non-peak times. Check with your favorite vacation spot and find out if they have lower rates at various times throughout the year. You may find that you can save quite a chunk this way.

This post/page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.