thoughts on life

7 Smart Things to Teach Kids About Money

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Growing up in my family, the first rule of money was this:  We don’t talk about money.  All I ever knew is that we had more than enough.  While my parents did encourage me to work both around the house and at part-time jobs, there wasn’t a whole lot of guidance when it came to [...]

Is Your Bank Taking Advantage of You?

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This is a guest post from Kalyn Brooke of Creative Savings Believe it or not, your bank does not always have your best interests at heart. They are in business to make money, and to make money off your money. From interest rates to extravagant fees, not only are you beholden to the services they [...]

10 Smart Ways to Build an Emergency Fund

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There is nothing that can derail your financial progress faster than an emergency.  You think you’re doing okay, making headway towards your goals, and boom!  The refrigerator stops working, your car breaks down, or your child falls off her bike and needs four stiches in her chin and suddenly you are right back in crisis [...]

25 Awesome Staycation Ideas

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Ah vacation.  How many of us don’t sometimes wish we could escape the hustle, bustle, & day-to-day responsibilities of our normal lives for a week of fun and relaxation somewhere far, far away? The truth is that for many of us a traditional vacation is not always in the cards.  Between restaurants, hotels, and transportation, [...]

How to Afford Private School on a Budget

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Several months ago I shared the news that my husband and I had decided to send our girls back to school rather than homeschool.  It was an incredibly difficult decision to make, for so many reasons, but ultimately we decided that--at least for this year--a small private school just a few blocks from our home [...]

How to Balance Motherhood and Ambition

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A couple of weeks I wrote about the experience of accomplishing a lifelong dream, and more specifically, what it truly takes to make a dream come true. As I explained in that post, there is a whole lot of hard work and sacrifice involved in pursuing a dream. It means making difficult choices and a [...]

Words Matter

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This wasn't the post I had intended to publish today, but amid a rash of hurtful comments around the blogosphere, both on this blog and others, and even in our normally positive & encouraging private LWSL Facebook group, there is something that has been weighing on my heart this week. It's about words. I think [...]

How to Create a Cleaning Schedule That Works For You

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Over the years I have received more than a few reader questions about cleaning, organizing, and decluttering.  It seems that we all want to have a neat and orderly home, but not all of us know exactly how to get there.  And let’s face it, life can get chaotic and busy with too much to [...]

5 Secrets of a Happy Marriage

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I can't even tell you how excited I am to introduce you to my friend Melanie Shankle, aka Big Mama.  I'll spare you the boring details of how we met, suffice to say it involved much laughter (and a little wine) and an instant realization that she is my kind of people.  She is an [...]

How to Make a Dream Come True

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This past weekend was a big one for me, and not just because Seattle won the Superbowl.  No, this weekend was big because it was the weekend I turned in my completed manuscript for my first real book. It will still be quite a while before that pile of pages is transformed into a real [...]

A Mom Sets the Tone

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Though it has been a few years, I can still remember the conversation like it was yesterday.  In one of our marathon phone sessions, I poured out all my frustration to my sister: Chuck is such a jerk!  I’m so tired of feeling like I can’t do anything right!  And the girls are driving me [...]

7 Ways Google Calendar Simplifies My Life

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I couldn't be happier to introduce you all to my dear friend Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom.  Crystal is one of those people who I just "clicked" with the instant that we met.  Every time we talk I feel both challenged to do better and encouraged that I can actually do it.  If you've [...]

4 Resolutions Every Mom Should Make

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Today I am so excited to be re-introducing you to my dear friend Edie from Life in Grace.  Those of you who have been around for a while might remember her from the 31 Days of Less & More series that we co-hosted in October.  Edie and I became friends about three years ago, just [...]

Imperfect Weakness

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Have you ever been embarrassed?  I don't mean doing something embarrassing, like tripping over your own feet or having a piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe --I think we've all had a few cringe-worthy moments we'd like to forget--but have you ever been intentionally put down or mocked by someone else? A few months [...]

A Christmas Wish

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As I prepare to spend the next week celebrating the holidays with my family and friends, I wanted to also take a few moments to wish you all a merry Christmas as well.  It has been a busy, crazy, and overall incredible year here at Living Well Spending Less, and to finish up the year, I [...]