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JA Reading Lehigh | On Raising Kids and Becoming a Better Parent

How to Shop with Style without Killing the Credit Card

Aug 21, 2014 | Posted by in Personal Finance | 0 comments

Everyday something new comes to the market: fashion clothes, crazy knee high socks, straw beach bags, gadgets and unending gift ideas for girls. Fashion, for instance, changes regularly. You see artist and models wearing new clothes in magazines and TVs every day. What could be beautiful now could be totally off by the next month. And yet, we ladies can’t help but shop for these things. However, as we crazily pursue for the newest trend, we might end up chasing out our credit cards. Here are some things we could do to stay fashionably beautiful and still go home with a happy wallet.


Apply for a Secured Credit Card

Using a credit card is tempting when you know that your credit limit is high. Unfortunately, some of us may not notice that our spending is already reaching more than what we could afford to pay. That is why using a secured credit card could be of great help to get back on track. These cards function just like a debit card where you have to deposit first before spending. The difference is that it sends a credit report to the “major credit bureaus”, like a normal credit card would. Thus, you get to rebuild your credit record. Now that’s a triple hit!

  • You control your spending
  • You restore your credit reputation, and
  • You get to shop! But more wisely this time.

Keep on saving

Savings Piggy Bank

Accept the fact that you are not as capable of buying too much. Stop the impulse buying. Even if your ultimate favorite boutique is on sale, don’t just put on your shoes and go running for that designer clothe. Try to check cheaper items. Looking gorgeous need not be too expensive. Besides, you wouldn’t want to just look glamorous in front of your friends when you know that you can’t even buy yourself a drink, right?

Make sure to allot a portion of your income to your savings. Spend only on things that are essential to your daily living. Know “how to budget”. If you can’t help but buy clothes, try visiting a thrift store. Some outfit there are worth checking for. Or you could probably scavenge your closet for something that you can remake. There are lots of ways to save. Just be dedicated about it. As of now may you still can’t spend too much on luxury, but maybe in the future, you can start buying what you want again. By then, I do hope you don’t go back to old habits.

If you finally get the hang of saving instead of shopping, you could put your money to better use. Save for a business, for your insurance, or for retirement. Find a financial adviser to help you decide on that. Remember that the money you save now will take you a long way tomorrow.

Your Own Designer Style

Let’s say your outfit before, from the top of your hair to the tip of your toe, is full package designer clothes. Now, try settling for one designer piece, and match it with some inexpensive attire. Designer clothes are definitely beautiful, and pairing it with non-designer ones will not make it any less gorgeous. It will shine anyhow. So, try on your previously brought set of accessory with a dress from the discount section. Be creative. You would still be stunning for sure.

Or better yet, why not learn to make your own outfit? The cost of buying the materials will surely be lower than a ready-made clothes. Try practicing doing stitches during your free time. It might also keep you busy enough to forget the urge of heading to the mall.

When you made it out successfully, reward yourself a little. Set a certain amount as your savings goal. And when you reach it, get yourself one designer clothes, shoes or bag. Make this a motivation. Just see to it that you don’t use the whole savings you kept.

That’s it!

Start working yourself back to the financially stable you.

Surviving the First Month After Giving Birth

Jul 24, 2014 | Posted by in Post-Pregnancy | 0 comments

There are hundreds of pregnancy guides, and advices: how to manage your health and nutrition while your baby is in your tummy, how to deal with stress, how to choose your maternity dress, and many more. Likewise, hundreds of tips for after pregnancy stage are circulating. Even in your neighborhood, you are surely able to pick some from expert mothers. This information varies from one mom to the other, even contradicting at some point. What are we to follow? To clear it up, we compiled a list of tips, the basics, that all mothers mutually share and understand.

1. Follow your instincts.

You may have read a lot of articles and books stating the guidelines to understand baby’s gestures. However, it doesn’t give a sure win process of taming the endless cries of your baby. Each baby is unique, and you have to know yours on your own.

Trust in what your instinct tells you. You need not feed your baby only after three hours, as written in an article, when you think your precious one is already crying a hunger strike. You may be new to this motherhood thing, but, believe me, you know better than those books when it comes to understanding your baby. You just have to observe. You’ll eventually get the hang of it.

2. Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding?

It is best to breastfeed rather than formula feed. Breastfeeding promotes better growth and immunity. Nursing your kid is not an easy task though. At first, it may be uncomfortable not only for you, but also for the baby. It takes weeks of practice to get used to. Seek advice from a lactating consultant, if necessary.

In some cases, a mother may not be able to nurse the baby due to certain medical conditions that prevents her or her baby to undergo breastfeeding. It is a normal situation. Yes, it may not be preferred as compared to breastfeeding, but it does not entail that you fail as a mother by doing so. It is just not suitable for the two of you. Don’t feel guilty about it.

3. Pay attention to your baby’s cues.Baby's Signals

As I’ve mentioned a while ago, observe the actions of your baby. Their actions and their cries are the only language they can give you as of now. Carefully watch and take note of his/her gestures. Each one would probably mean something. So as with their cries. A baby’s cry could sound different on each sensation they feel.

4. Stop trying to be the perfect mother.

Motherhood involves triumphs and failures. No mother has finished her journey without stressing about something, or anything per se. So stop stressing yourself more by thinking that you are not the perfect mother. Instead, be the best mother. When you stumble on your feet, stand up again. Do the best you could for your family.

5. Make time for your husband.

We understand that the sleepless nights and tedious household chores take the toll on you in these first few weeks. It is not easy to adjust to the hectic schedule. But, it is crucial to keep a healthy relationship with your partner as well. It need not be something extravagant. Saying words of endearment, or sharing stories during dinner would be enough.

6. Make time for yourself.

Take care of yourself. Take a bath, wear clean clothes, eat well. You have to be at your best condition to face this stage. Maybe you could take a few minutes walk with a simple fitness heart rate monitor or chit chat with your friends. Sometimes you just have to keep your mind off the baby to keep you going.

Being a mother is fulfilling. Even if you reach a point where you feel that you’re too tired to go on, always remember that you can and you will go on! Hang in there. Enjoy each moment. Little that you notice, your baby would be walking on his/her own foot, and you will be the best person to thank for.